Killer Xeno Network Card Kills Lag, Has Built-In Voice Chat Processing

Illustration for article titled Killer Xeno Network Card Kills Lag, Has Built-In Voice Chat Processing

Remember the Killer NIC network card, that supposedly nukes your lag so you kill faster? Their new card, Killer Xeno, ups the ante to PCI Express and moves voice chat processing to the card itself.


It's still powered by that giant effin' K, but the move to PCIe for higher throughput and onboard voice processor supposedly offloads even more networking and processing from your computer, lowering your overhead, meaning your games run will run a bit faster. The networking bypasses the Windows networking stack, and prioritizes gaming traffic—it's essentially a mini Linux computer.

Right now, the voice stuff works with TeamSpeak, but not with Ventrilo (which is actually my preferred voice chat for gaming), though they said they're working out deals with other voice chat clients, so hopefully that's on the way. KIller Xeno Pro has 128MB of onboard RAM, and it's $130, while Killer Xeno Ultra has 256MB, and it's $180. Even if it does drop your big by, let's say 20ms, would that much be worth it to you?

Bigfoot Networks Launches Killer Xeno(tm):
Second-Generation Gaming Network Card

Partners Alienware and EVGA First to Distribute Killer Xeno;

TeamSpeak and Vivox First to Partner for Killer Xeno Voice-Chat

SAN FRANCISCO, Game Developers Conference - March 23, 2009 - Bigfoot
Networks, the networking technology company behind the Killer(tm) line of
gaming network cards, today launched Killer Xeno, the company's
next-generation voice chat-enabled network interface card for online gamers.
The new product comes with more memory, an upgraded network processing unit
(NPU), and integrated audio for hardware-accelerated voice-chat, all
designed to bring gamers the ultimate online experience. The Killer Xeno
platform provides Bigfoot Networks' partners and customers the fastest time
to market with a flexible product design for customizing, licensing and
distributing Killer Xeno.

Killer Xeno's voice-chat acceleration technology addresses the most
requested gamer feature, and will enable the millions of online gamers
worldwide who utilize these chat services to enjoy a "hiccup-free" voice
experience while playing the latest generation of online games. Bigfoot, in
providing voice chat, has partnered with companies supporting leading
products such as TeamSpeak and Vivox as well as utilizing the popular open
source application Mumble.

Killer Xeno is also a flexible product design platform that enables
customers, including Add-In-Board (AIB) vendors and PC OEMs, to license and
differentiate Killer Xeno products for their markets. Bigfoot Networks also
announced today that leading game systems developer Alienware, Dell's
high-performance gaming brand, will be the first exclusive PC OEM to ship
the Killer Xeno Pro.

"The worldwide online gaming market is rapidly growing, and with more
gaming customers come more customer requests, demands and needs. Alienware
works to stay ahead of the curve and Bigfoot Networks helps us do this,"
said Frank Azor, senior vice president and general manager, Alienware. "The
Bigfoot Networks' Killer Xeno gives us the proven technology needed to
guarantee customers' ultimate online gaming experience."

Additionally, the company announced that EVGA Corporation, the leading-edge
3D graphics card and motherboard manufacturer, is Bigfoot's first exclusive
third party AIB partner to license Killer Xeno to be distributed under the
EVGA brand.

"EVGA, from the beginning, has embraced intelligent innovation and
leadership within our product philosophy," said Andrew Han, EVGA president
and CEO. "By partnering with Bigfoot Networks, EVGA can now offer the Killer
Xeno Pro to members of the VGA community. In particular, this new product
will greatly improve the immersive experience and competitive edge for
online gamers. Addressing our customers' real-time networking needs and
empowering them with new products is made possible with Bigfoot's Killer
Xeno technology."

"Bigfoot Networks' products are designed to provide the best experience for
today's new generation of real-time network-dependent applications such as
online gaming, voice chat and file sharing," said Bigfoot Networks CEO
Michael Howse. "Our new high-volume distribution partnerships with Alienware
and EVGA will enable a wide variety of product implementations and price
points for gamers and consumers worldwide."

The Killer Xeno gaming network cards deliver the ultimate online gaming
experience, decreasing latency and offering better framerates, thus enabling
smoother gameplay. Key features of the Killer Xeno include:

* PCIe interface: provides for higher throughput.

* Killer Xeno NPU: dedicated smart packet processor for all network
operations, ensures the delivery of time sensitive data like game control
and VoIP.

* Plug and Play compatibility with all games.

* Windows network stack bypass: provides for direct to game interrupts.

* Integrated audio chip: offloads VoIP operations to Killer Xeno NPU for
'"hiccup-free" voice communications while gaming.

* On board RAM (256 MB/Ultra and 128/Pro): enables applications such as
Firewall, VoIP chat and bandwidth control to run on the card simultaneously
with no system performance degradation.

* Firewall: Stops intruders with zero gaming performance impact. Based on
robust Linux iptable implementation.

* Bandwidth control: Prioritize network traffic for each application by
setting bandwidth priorities and max/min limits through a simple interface.

* Onboard status display: Xeno Ultra model includes a customizable LED
display for caller ID, network statistics, game information or any
user-customized messages.

The Killer Xeno comes in two form factors, Killer Xeno Ultra with 256MB of
on board ram, OnBoard Status Display and Killer Xeno Pro with 128MB of on
board ram. Both models include audio processing for VoIP chat.

The Killer Xeno Pro will be available for $129.99 from both Alienware and
EVGA in April 2009. The Killer Xeno Ultra will be available for $179.99 in
May from leading online retail partners. Check for
more details.

[Big Foot Networks]


I'd enjoy 20ms, mainly because some of my favorite TF2 servers are borderline laggy based on their location. It's a bit hard to justify the price for just that though.