|VisionTek Killer HD5770 Combo Card|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Video Cards|
|Written by Steven Iglesias-Hearst|
|Tuesday, 15 February 2011|
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Bigfoot Networks Killer Network Manager
Before we get onto the graphics performance tests we will take a look at the Bigfoot Networks "Killer Network Manager" software suite. There are a few handy features in this software and it is actually quite useful if you want full control over your network traffic. During installation of the bigfoot networks software it downloaded and flashed new firmware to the card. This disturbed me slightly as flashing firmware within the windows OS environment is not something I would usually do no matter how stable I might think the OS is, there should have been a warning or choice at the very least. Thankfully all went well and my card wasn't bricked and I live to tell the tale. After you are set up and running the software will do an internet connection (download and upload) test to gauge your current connection speed (bandwidth).
This is the main screen of the Killer network manager software, from here you can get information about your system and also monitor your network bandwidth usage. If you have FRAPS installed and running you will also get an FPS reading.
In this next screen you can select specific items to monitor from the drop down box and it will write to a line graph, you can also save a log of your results for later use.
This is the application management screen, the most useful part of the software as far as I am concerned. When you first get to this screen the software grabs all of your running programs and gives them a network usage priority of normal (out of Low, Normal, High and Highest) any games automatically get a priority of Highest. You can change the priority of any application with the drop down menu or you can reduce its bandwidth usage by selecting it and dragging the slider on the right hand side (an arrow is visible when the program is active) from full down to zero usage.
You can also see in real time which programs are using bandwidth and how much they are using, this could be quite effective when troubleshooting things like viruses or malware infections that are spreading or downloading junk to your PC. There is also another drop down menu that gives you the choice to allow or block network connection to each application.
This is the network configuration screen, from here you can change various settings related to your current internet connection. You are able to test your current connection speed for bandwidth management here, the software detected my speed at 22.66Mbs down / 2.19Mbs up. This is good because my current package from my ISP is 20Mbs down / 2Mbs up, so either my ISP is over provisioning or the Killer E2100 NIC is working it's magic.
In the advanced screen you can manage certain aspects of the network manager software, change default application priority and change how and what information is displayed.
Bigfoot Networks Killer 2100 Testing
Using the advanced network test in PassMark Performance v7 (Advanced > Networking...), I tested the transmission speed (Mb/s) of the TCP and UDP protocols on the Killer 2100 NIC and compared the results to my motherboard's on-board NIC (RealTek RTL8111E Gigabit Fast Ethernet). The nature of the Killer 2100 NIC is to accelerate game traffic, and since game traffic relies on UDP transmission we would hope to see an increase in speed here...
And that is exactly what the case is here, the Killer E2100 NIC totally wipes the floor on the on-board network controller. The result above is an average reading, TCP results were very tight and stayed within 2Mb/s throughout the tests, but when we tested the UDP transmission speed the top end went over 500Mb/s at times which is quite interesting. These tests were conducted in a controlled LAN environment and so real world results will be somewhat lower but still promising.