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Is it credible? (4, Funny)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 7 years ago | (#15869761)

From TFA:

All the founders met at the University of Texas while getting their MBAs.

Oh - and it runs FNapps, so as well as being good for games, its suitable for FNapping.

Re:Is it credible? (4, Funny)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#15869808)

You mean they went to the University of Texas to find Linux instead of God?! I guess that answers the root question then.

Re:Is it credible? (1)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 7 years ago | (#15869960)

THe root questions? That would be "Password:" right?

MBA's, huh? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15869824)

They got Masters degrees in Business Administration, and yet their typing and conversational skills are on the level of 14-year-olds.

That's just sad.

Well, that and the fact that their "product" is clearly incapable of giving anything near the boosts they claim it gives...

Re:Is it credible? (5, Insightful)

snowgirl (978879) | more than 7 years ago | (#15869976)

It's obvious that they're all about the business here.

"Powered by Lag and Latency Reduction (LLR) Technology"
"Future-Proof: Field Upgradeable"
"UltimatePing(tm)"
"MaxFPS(tm)"
"FNA(tm)"
"GameFirst(tm)"
"PingThrottle(tm)"

Seriously, who else but a marketting department would think that it's a good idea to trademark a name describing everything "new" that your product does? And the page is so full of TLAs (three letter acronyms) that you need a glossary to read it.

So, yes, I'd have to weigh in with everyone else, it's snakeoil. Basically, any product designed entirely by a marketting group is going to be snakeoil, and this definitely was.

Yes. (5, Insightful)

Spazntwich (208070) | more than 7 years ago | (#15869763)

I'm sure another layer of abstraction to the network is exactly what gamers need to reduce lag.

Overloaded and slow routers will say, "Whoah, his network card RUNS LINUX. I'll shuffle these packets through more quickly."

I'd believe their hype more if we already had an openly tiered internet and these guys gave you a free year's subcription to the top tier with purchase of the card.

Re:Yes. (4, Informative)

Beuno (740018) | more than 7 years ago | (#15869792)

I agree, although, also from TFA:

Many network products today claim to 'offload' network calculations (like checksum, tcp segmentation, etc.). Those technologies are usually only for TCP/IP networking (which most games that Hardcore Gamers play don't use). Those technologies are also incomplete as they still go through multiple layers of the gaming network stack to eventually get data to the game. With Killer, we completely bypass your gaming PC's operating system and go directly from our card to the game. Our card automatically handles things like IP Reassembly, UDP/IP checksum, UDP and IP header verification and stripping, etc, etc, etc. By bypassing your gaming PC's operating system and allowing Killer to handle everything, Killer can achieve levels of gaming network performance well beyond the offloading features claimed by other consumer networking products (NICs or onboard chipsets).

Re:Yes. (2, Insightful)

jandrese (485) | more than 7 years ago | (#15869833)

Woo! It saves that 0.1% of my modern CPU that is going for UDP checksum calculations and uh, well UDP doesn't exactly require a lot of processing...

Re:Yes. (5, Interesting)

russ1337 (938915) | more than 7 years ago | (#15870019)

....and probably bypasses any software firewall on your machine at the same time... how long till there is an exploit to get the network card to trigger 'gaming mode' for a worm... my bet is 2 days from release...

Re:Yes. (4, Insightful)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#15869855)

TCP isn't avoided because it's slow but because it's totally useless for streaming applications (e.g. games). Missing packets is much more easy to deal with than halting waiting for missing packets.

Maybe that shows the founders don't know that much about networking?

Tom

Re:Yes. (5, Insightful)

CyberBill (526285) | more than 7 years ago | (#15869932)

A lot of games are TCP based... World of Warcraft for example. Even games that arent exactly TCP are typically a reliable messaging system on top of UDP that pretty much mimics TCP.

With that said, I cant see how this network card could reduce your latency by more than 1ms or 2ms round trip. Latency isnt introduced because your PC is stupid, its introduced because you're waiting the time it takes for packets to travel to your ISP, to its ISP, to its ISP, down to its child, down to its child, and back to some other PC, and having to interact with the 20 routers, gateways, and switches along the way. Most switches use something called Hold and Forward (I might have the name wrong...) which listens for the whole packet, reads the header information, and then passes it along, rather than writing the bits as they come in like a hub does... (Please dont read into this and think hubs are better :P )

Re:Yes. (5, Informative)

Jherek Carnelian (831679) | more than 7 years ago | (#15870038)

Even games that arent exactly TCP are typically a reliable messaging system on top of UDP that pretty much mimics TCP.

With that said, I cant see how this network card could reduce your latency by more than 1ms or 2ms round trip.
Given the constraints - TCP and various homegrown reliable protocols on top of UDP, it isn't too hard to come up with some options to improve latency. But they all involve violating the RFCs.

First you have to wrap head around one important factor that can absolutely kill latency for any transport with guaranteed delivery -- packet loss. Packet loss means you have to discover what packets were lost and then retransmit them - those two steps can easily introduce delays on the order of seconds.

So one trick would be to pre-send the retransmits. Send duplicate packets spaced apart by a few miliseconds. If the other end receives multiple copies of the same packet, it will silently discard any extras - but if one copy gets lost en route, the other packet might still make it through, thus eliminating the whole timeout/retransmit cycle. It should be possible to do this for both TCP and UDP.

However, doing something like that is very unfriendly because it wastes resources. The primary reason packets get lost en route is because of bandwidth saturation. So, if you double or triple your traffic you are just making the problem worse. If you are the only one out of thousands who "breaks the rules" you will probably get away with it and probably even benefit from it since packet loss will be a somewhat even distribution among all traffic, so chances are if one of your packets gets dropped the copy won't get dropped - instead someone else's packet gets dropped.

But if a significant minority of users were to do the same thing, it would probably result in a complete collapse of any usuable bandwidth. Which is exactly the kind of thing I would expect a bunch of MBA's to come up with.

Re:Yes. (1)

snowgirl (978879) | more than 7 years ago | (#15870085)

However, doing something like that is very unfriendly because it wastes resources. The primary reason packets get lost en route is because of bandwidth saturation. So, if you double or triple your traffic you are just making the problem worse. If you are the only one out of thousands who "breaks the rules" you will probably get away with it and probably even benefit from it since packet loss will be a somewhat even distribution among all traffic, so chances are if one of your packets gets dropped the copy won't get dropped - instead someone else's packet gets dropped.

Redundant Transmission of All Packets? RTAP(tm), it's mine, they can't use it!

Re:Yes. (4, Insightful)

Zebra_X (13249) | more than 7 years ago | (#15869944)

WOW. Just wow. I think that I have seen it all. This fellow has actually posted a smart, witty and insightful comment about a totally bunk product and got modded troll as a result.

And yet others defend this weak, limp wristed marketing gimmick and have been modded up.
Is there no justice on slashdot!? Have the Mod gods forsaken us for the last time!?

We pray to you mod gods, remove the blight from the parent post and restore the balance of good and newb on slashdot!

Pricey (5, Informative)

HeWhoRoams (895809) | more than 7 years ago | (#15869770)

Pre order cost is $280. You'll see a better FPS increase spending that on a graphics card, RAM, or some groceries for 6 months.

Re:Pricey (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15869821)

There's some sort of truism that every engineer slash MBA thinks this is a good idea and tries to implement it.

Makes me wonder what the prices (1)

Moryath (553296) | more than 7 years ago | (#15869856)

of a few other things are these days.

Like say, snake oil. Or those magnetic gewgaws that are supposed to give you 500% better fuel efficiency in your car.

Or, other crap that doesn't work.

Re:Makes me wonder what the prices (1)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 7 years ago | (#15869974)

I think its more in line with gold plated speaker cables and $300 power supplies.

Re:Pricey (1)

wiggles (30088) | more than 7 years ago | (#15869868)

I totally agree. $280 is way too much to spend for what would be a very small FPS increase. On the other hand, if they added some functionality and repackaged it as an SSL acceleration card, they would make big bucks from secure web sites looking to offload the SSL calculations from the cpu without buying a more expensive external accelerator.

Re:Pricey (1)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 7 years ago | (#15869985)

Wow, yea, that's a good idea! I've got a handful of secure proxys set up that could use a little boost. Reminds me of something I heard about people trying to take advantage of all the processing power in the newer graphics cards, to speed up server-side number crunching.

Re:Pricey (4, Funny)

bcmm (768152) | more than 7 years ago | (#15869886)

Yes, because we thought we'd get a better FPS increase from lower network latency.

Re:Pricey (1)

Clazzy (958719) | more than 7 years ago | (#15870006)

Looks like I'll be spending a few days buying some food, I have FPS to gain!

Re:Pricey (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15870044)

"groceries for 6 months" - 46.666666 dollars a month on groceries...what do you eat? more like 1.5 months of groceries

Re:Pricey (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15870125)

Interesting you should say that, considering the article has nothing to do with system performance, and frames per second have no bearing on network latency.

Huh? (4, Insightful)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 7 years ago | (#15869771)

It's always been my understanding that the bigger bottlenecks are upstream of your NIC. I mean, my home network set up goes gigabit from my desktop to my hardware router, gigabit from my router to my gateway firewall, then gigabit (minus a few MTU) to my DSL modem, and after that the speed gets massively reduced and there's nothing I can do about it. My lan latency is practically non-existant.

Can you really reprioritize your packets coming from your desktop in such a way that you make a significant gain after it hits your ISP? Or is this just cyberpenis enlargement? Seems to me that, unless you're hosting a bunch of internet spyware or network-heavy background processes, you're not going to be making much of a gain.

Re:Huh? (2, Funny)

MustardMan (52102) | more than 7 years ago | (#15869804)

Seems to me that, unless you're hosting a bunch of internet spyware [...], you're not going to be making much of a gain.

Uh, this is for gamers, right? Don't most gamers run WINDOWS?

Re:Huh? (1)

grasshoppa (657393) | more than 7 years ago | (#15869840)

Can you really reprioritize your packets coming from your desktop in such a way that you make a significant gain after it hits your ISP? Or is this just cyberpenis enlargement? Seems to me that, unless you're hosting a bunch of internet spyware or network-heavy background processes, you're not going to be making much of a gain.

In a single device network, this is mostly true. However, most people have at least two devices on their network ( at the very least, two seperate systems ). And it's not about saturating the line, it's about saturating the line for brief moments of time.

Case in point; VoIP. Plenty of people have vonage. You always want time sensitive packets like VoIP packets to go out ahead of all other traffic. In a theoretical situation, it's possible that even random web traffic could delay voip getting out in a timely manner, which you'd hear as pops and crackles.

Not that this is relevant to the card; It's a marked up POS looking for a sucker to buy it.

Re:Huh? (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 7 years ago | (#15869907)

I didn't RTFA, but maybe there's some sort of QoS that makes sure Windows Update or something like that doesn't slow down your games? I think I'd rather have manual control, though, and just turn off things that I'm downloading in the background.

I'm not sure what else they could do, though, and I guess that wouldn't reduce latency as much as increase throughput for games. If you're halfway around the world from your destination, I don't know how a better network card is going to get you a faster ping.

But hey, someone tell me if I'm just not getting it.

Re:Huh? (2, Informative)

fm6 (162816) | more than 7 years ago | (#15869919)

If you go to the web site, and read the white paper, you'll see that they're mainly thinking in terms of LAN usage.

Re:Huh? (1)

smbarbour (893880) | more than 7 years ago | (#15869923)

Can you really reprioritize your packets coming from your desktop in such a way that you make a significant gain after it hits your ISP?

Yeah, technically if the packet is flagged with a higher priority CoS, and ALL of the equipment between hither and yon support CoS, it is possible.

After reading through the whitepaper, it seems this card is also able to flag INCOMING packets as well. If this were possible, it would CAUSE incredible amounts of lag for everything else waiting for packets (not to mention requiring a cache for all of the suspended packets it would have to set off to the side while waiting for the "preferred" packets to arrive). If I'm not mistaken packets still arrive one by one from the network.

Re:Huh? (1)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 7 years ago | (#15870023)

Yea, packets only ever arrive/depart one at a time, unless you've got multiple independant interfaces enabled. That's just tcp/ip. If this thing could change that well that would be something. Maybe some kind of quantum dynamics? Or magic packets where an outgoing packet could travel through an inbound packet. Trippy.

Re:Huh? (5, Insightful)

forkazoo (138186) | more than 7 years ago | (#15869928)

It's always been my understanding that the bigger bottlenecks are upstream of your NIC. I mean, my home network set up goes gigabit from my desktop to my hardware router, gigabit from my router to my gateway firewall, then gigabit (minus a few MTU) to my DSL modem, and after that the speed gets massively reduced and there's nothing I can do about it. My lan latency is practically non-existant.


Now, maybe I'm completely misunderstanding teh point of this NIC, but...

You are correct. The NIC isn't an appreciable source of latency. Right now, I ping'd a server on another subnet, and I averaged 0.3 ms latency. This is bog standard 100 Mb. Nothing the least bit fancy. That server might have a nice NIC of some sort, but this desktop certainly doesn't. And, that's hopping between subnets. Crossing between buildings over a T-1, with a few routers involved in about 5 ms. Pinging my home machine over the internet is abou 150 ms. So, assuming that of the .3 ms latency I have inside this building, none of it is due to the switch, and none of it is due to actual wire delay, then about half of the latency is my system, and half is from the server. So, my NIC is responsible for abou 0.15 ms of latency.

Now, assuming that I was playing a game with my home computer, moving to a NIC that cut the latency of my PC down by 2/3 (from .15 ms to .05 ms), I'd be shaving my total latency for the connection to 149.9 ms (from 150ms).

Which would improve my lag by .06%

No, dammit. You won't see a noticeable improvement from a lower latency NIC. There are probably a few microbenchmarks where you will get a phenomenal speedup. Gaming isn't one of those cases.

Re:Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15870024)

then gigabit (minus a few MTU) to my DSL modem,

You have a GB DSL modem? Why on earth would anyone make one of those?

Re:Huh? (1)

malejko (216594) | more than 7 years ago | (#15870056)

Total marketing, and definitely some cyberpenis enlargement. No other way to explain this product.

The only other way I can see it being viable is so that you can download your P2P pr0n, keep being a spambot and have the NIC do some gaming QoS for 'ya. Either that or you have a built-in NIC that's hogging your bus. There are some good built-in NIC's, but there's a lot of shitty ones too.

Still not worth even close to $280. $100 tops, and even then I'll still stick to just 'turning off' the other network stuff on my machine. D-Link's gaming router can help if you're not a Linux geek and want to stick something in to keep your sister from hogging the bandwidth. But to save yourself from hogging your own computer's bandwidth? Ugh.. I can't believe I'm even commenting on this story now that I think of it.

For Gamers? (1)

aquowf (977465) | more than 7 years ago | (#15869781)

Aw, nice marketing. Yea, thats all I have to say.

fuck this (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15869784)

This thing is a joke meant to take advantage of the same kind of stupid rich white people who spend $1200 on SLI video cards and upgrade to every fastest CPU made the day it's released.

Fuck this and fuck anyone who buys it.

Klingons on the starboard bow! (4, Funny)

cannonfodda (557893) | more than 7 years ago | (#15869787)

Wow the first network card with built in Bat'leth!

Oooo... Killer (5, Funny)

snowgirl (978879) | more than 7 years ago | (#15869788)

OMG, they named it the "KillerNIC"? Like, does this kind of advertising actually work?

"This NIC is so hardcore it KILLED SOMEONE!"

I can just imagine their second version coming with a muzzle a la Silence of the Lambs.

Re:Oooo... Killer (1)

0racle (667029) | more than 7 years ago | (#15869939)

Since the majority of gamers see their computers as the mysterious and magical box that their parents do, my guess is yes, it works perfectly.

Re:Oooo... Killer (4, Funny)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 7 years ago | (#15869977)

I'd buy it if had a better name. Something like Xtreme NIC Ultra or something.

And some VTEC stickers and a big-ass wing on it.

Yeah, that'd be phat, yo!

Pimp my NIC, bitches!

Re:Oooo... Killer (1)

utopianfiat (774016) | more than 7 years ago | (#15869999)

yup.
12-year-old: "Mom, I want the killerNIC because it will make me more hardcore and I will be able to pwn more newbs."
mother: "I don't know what you're talking about, but if it will get you to shut up so I can get back to my whiskey, I'll buy it."
The kid will go on to tell all his friends "I've got a KillerNIC!" and they'll say "oooo, I don't know what that means but it sounds so hardcore" and one snot-nosed brat will say "Oh yeah? We'll I've got a 10 megabit super gigaflop bytemaster 200001 with PBX capabilities!" and the kid will go home, defeated, at least until he asks his mom for that nonexistent coil of dogshit.

Re:Oooo... Killer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15870027)

10 megabit super gigaflop bytemaster 200001 with PBX capabilities!

Link please.

Oh, Geeky! (1)

Enoxice (993945) | more than 7 years ago | (#15869790)

It's a nice idea, but I'm skeptical about whether or not the promised performance boost will be worth the price. But does it run li...oh, right. So now you can say "you got pwned by my linux-powered nic!".

Re:Oh, Geeky! (3, Informative)

harrkev (623093) | more than 7 years ago | (#15869915)

But... if you read the specs, you have to run Windows in order to use it. It uses Linux, but no Linux drivers...

drivers on cards? (1)

LiquidMind (150126) | more than 7 years ago | (#15869791)

kinda OT, but something that came to mind recently....

why can't manufacturers make hardware (esp NICs) with basic 9x/xp/*nx drivers on a ROM chip? It would be so much more convenient than having to 1) (if you're lucky) have the original disk / CD, insert, and install drivers or 2) download the drivers on another machine, burn to cd / copy to disk, walk it to the other computer, etc etc...

too much to ask for?

Two reasons. (4, Insightful)

khasim (1285) | more than 7 years ago | (#15869823)

#1. It's more difficult to issue updated software in firmware.

#2. It's another chip. Software is far cheaper than hardware for OEM's.

Re:Two reasons. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15869877)

Also recovering from a fucked up flash attempt is way harder than recovering from a fucked up driver install. In the latter case, you can always uninstall the driver, reinstall it again, etc. In the former, however, chances are your nice piece of hardware just became a paperweight.

Re:drivers on cards? (1)

Amouth (879122) | more than 7 years ago | (#15869851)

I would like this too but only if you can flash it and stick what you want on it.. (within reason) personaly for alot of cards i get i stip the drivers down and out of the software they All want to install and only set up what is needed.. If i didn't have a choice because they had it in the card i wouldn't buy it..

but the better way to look at it is to make your cards ne2000 compatiable.. so that even if you don't have the drivers you get basic networking... or does that just make too much sence?

Re:drivers on cards? (2, Interesting)

faragon (789704) | more than 7 years ago | (#15869979)

Manufacturers don't do it because of:

a) ROM code implies adopting some sort of code execution (ISA dependant, p.e. x86/PPC/MIPS/etc), CPU related.
b) There are also dependencies related to the system BOOT process (p.e. IBM-PC / EFI BIOS / Other), i.e. related to the boot "protocol", CPU unrelated.
b) Ignoring (a) and (b) problems, having 9x/xp/*nx drivers built-in in ROM just as backup for your media, note that the BIOS chip is nowdays quite more expensive than the 0.20$ that costs the driver CD, or the ~0$ that costs the driver update download.

In the other hand, what you point could be possible -and interesting- if:

1) Make/adopt an industry standard CPU emulation for booting CPU-independant BIOSes, p.e. using some kind of Java-like CPU emulation (like the way the PPC comunity uses PCI boards with x86 BIOSes).
2) Make/adopt an industry standard BIOS boot protocol.
3) Wait until some PC manufacturer put an 64Mbit BIOS, for loading a 8MB Linux.

BIOS, drivers, and such are so inconvenient given the multiple OS available (which is a good thing). I hope some day someone bring the solution for that nonsense, may be there is necessary some kind of *clean* abstraction layer above these things (and, why not other Linux operating on a secondary CPU I/O dedicated subsystem?).

Aimbot! (1)

GlobalEcho (26240) | more than 7 years ago | (#15869795)

This sounds like a great place to house an aimbot, if those still exist.

network card lag? (3, Insightful)

Fullaxx (657461) | more than 7 years ago | (#15869805)

since when is lag caused by your local NIC? So what if you get an extra .001 ms to your router? Never once have I seen my cpu above 5% b/c of network usage, even full network usage. No way is this legit

Re:network card lag? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15869926)

Look if you're not extreme enough for this card just say so. Aerodynamic ethernet packets are a well established technique for avoiding bottlenecks in internet tubes so if you're not going to support your bashing with actual evidence why don't you just sit down and shut up? You're just embarressing yourself.

(seriously, It's the Monster Cable of NICs,,, wait 'til they start using emotional language to describe packets... "warmer, smoother packets... not cold harsh brittle packets like your run-of-the-mill NIC")

Re:network card lag? (1)

grolschie (610666) | more than 7 years ago | (#15870026)

"warmer, smoother packets... not cold harsh brittle packets like your run-of-the-mill NIC"
All of us internetphiles know that the best internet experience is good old tubes [youtube.com] (youtube pun intended) and not that modern solidstate crap. :-)

Viral Marketin 101 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15869817)

81) Make sure to include "Linux" to viral marketing ads posted as 'newsposts' on Slashdot to gain support with the Linux Community.

82) Hardcore gamers will do anything for the promise of better ping, even adding another hop to their upstream

Is this really needed? (5, Insightful)

adamwright (536224) | more than 7 years ago | (#15869828)

As a small test, I ran up Quake 3 on it's highest settings, and had it play back a reasonably heavy demo. Now, Quake3 isn't the most modern of games, but it can still peg a CPU at 100%. Then, I found the latency to my router.

Pinging 192.168.0.1 with 32 bytes of data:

Reply from 192.168.0.1: bytes=32 time1ms TTL=255
Reply from 192.168.0.1: bytes=32 time1ms TTL=255
Reply from 192.168.0.1: bytes=32 time1ms TTL=255

Assuming this product entirely eliminates all latency on the first hop (impossible), that's a net gain of 1ms.

The entire concept of these FNApps also strikes me as a route to evil; I heard a subtext of "Now, even the most clueless Windows gamer with too much money can run packet scanning cheating tools with no chance of detection!".

I'm placing this one firmly in the "Snake oil" bin, based on this interview.

Re:Is this really needed? (1)

snowgirl (978879) | more than 7 years ago | (#15869862)

The entire concept of these FNApps also strikes me as a route to evil; I heard a subtext of "Now, even the most clueless Windows gamer with too much money can run packet scanning cheating tools with no chance of detection!".

Ooo... something even bigger of an issue also. Now black hats don't even have to own your real computer to use you as a zombie, they can just own your NIC.

person who actually fell for buying one of these: "Why is my network so laggy? I thought this $250 NIC was supposed to help with that?"
person running packet sniffer: "Oh, here's your problem, you're part of a DDoS on killernic.com

Re:Is this really needed? (2, Informative)

dorath (939402) | more than 7 years ago | (#15870039)

They also claim to increase your FPS by offloading other apps onto the NIC, namely a music player but apparently also file sharing. With a mic jack one would think it could also run voice communication software.

Being at work, I'm not in a position to check FPS while running just the game vs the game, music, and chat. :-(

I'm placing this one in close proximity to the "Snake oil" bin.

Retarded, (5, Insightful)

u16084 (832406) | more than 7 years ago | (#15869836)

If your ISP sucks ass, a $250 lan card is not going to help.

Mel Gibson joins Hezbollah freedom fighters !! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15869837)



Mel Gibson joins Hezbollah freedom fighters, saying, "The damn Jews ruined my country (Australia? Ed.) and I'm not going to let them destroy another.

Linux (1)

agentdunken (912306) | more than 7 years ago | (#15869839)

Linux owns in everything hardware/software based. Everything today has Linux in it even if you don't know it. PDAs, Cell Phones, TV's, DVD players, Cars, Airplanes, even the U.S. Army robots use Linux. iRobot is famous for using Linux as the OS in their robots.

Re:Linux (1)

bbingham (145204) | more than 7 years ago | (#15869929)

I am ignorant - why does this card need to host a version of Linux? Wouldn't a much less expensive chipset running embedded Forth or some other such environment do the same job faster and better? Is the upside of writing card-specific applications really that great? Why would UDP processing require a 400Mhz cpu and consume 5-10W?

Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15869843)

Linux is the best

So it's a QoS Network Card? (5, Insightful)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 7 years ago | (#15869848)

The only thing I can guess it needs Linux for is to do the routing and QoS services (see lartc.org)...

Then again, considering I get sub-1ms latencies across my network (only 100Mbps...), and this is with some rather pathetic equipment (Celeron system running Win2k), I fail to see how I can improve my 80ms ping with a better network card.

It seems that hardcore gamers are starting to become the computing equivalent of the "audiophile". From CRT displays that do 120hz refresh (do they notice the difference between 100 and 120, I wonder?) since LCDs that do 6ms are "too slow". Gaming mice that do 10k-dpi for ultra-precise positioning, videocards that cost the better part of a grand. And now, network cards that cut down microseconds or give you that extra frame per second. There's also keyboards, the gaming mousepad (though, some are nice for general use), and god knows what other accessories, doodads and other monster-cable-type things.

Re:So it's a QoS Network Card? (4, Interesting)

bcmm (768152) | more than 7 years ago | (#15869993)

This is offtopic, but I have to mention this while we're talking about audiophiles. About a month ago, I saw in a shop a device even more blatantly pointless than this NIC. It was an "A/V USB cable". Gold-plated. That's right, ordinary USB cables are not good enough for running a projector, presumably because those cheap stainless steel USB connectors introduce too much noise into the (digital) signal.

(For anyone who doesn't frequent the same shops as crazy people, it is common to gold-plate the connectors of analogue audio connectors to improve the quality of the signal. Presumably the untarnishable gold reduces the resistance of the connection. This gets taken to rather silly extremes when gold-plated 3.5mm connectors are marketed for use with low-quality stuff like MP3 players.)

Re:So it's a QoS Network Card? (1)

brainnolo (688900) | more than 7 years ago | (#15870114)

There are lots of this kind of cables. Actually with high-speed device (mostly firewire) they could make *some* sense, because the digital data, while strong, is not immune to interferences. Error correction would fix the few transmission errors caused by a bad cable, but this would slow transmission down. Now, the gold plating itself makes no difference, but they usually gold plate the connector as a way to highlight the good quality of the cable. This said, if a gold plated cable costs 10x a standard cable, then is a scam targeted that "audiophile"-alike people.
This is NIC is also mostly useless. They were probably trying to develop a way to run p2p/server applications that would run directly on the NIC (the FNA thing), noticed too late it would be of no use and tried to sell it to gamers, who already buy crazy things for no reason at all.

Re:So it's a QoS Network Card? (2, Interesting)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 7 years ago | (#15870096)

The word is "elitism". There will always be people willing to lay down serious money to maintain their egos. Cars, stereos, guns, computers, home theaters, women ... you name it, somebody will pay too much for it just to get that special "God, I'm just so much better than everyone else" feeling. Of course, most elitists are in reality fools (and if male, typically equipped with miniscule sexual apparatus) but if you tell them how idiotic they look they'll just go spend even more money to prove you wrong. That can be entertaining, actually ... just keep pissing them off by saying things like "yeah yeah, that's cool, I guess, but you know my friend Bob has twenty-seven terabytes running on his home network" and watch their credit-card balances soar.

I think you are making some invalid comparisions (5, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 7 years ago | (#15870123)

For example take the CRT thing. I own such a CRT, and it's not marketed to gamers, it's marketed to professionals. Why the refersh rate then? Simple function of it's ability to go super high resolution. The monitor is rated to do 2048x1536 @85Hz. To do that, takes some fast electron guns. Well, that ability implies higher refresh rates at lower resolutions. It can do over 200Hz at 800x600 because the resolution is so low. The point is to get extremely high resolutions at usable refresh rates. Also, in general, you want your device spec'd above what it's supposed to actually do. You don't want to run it at it's limits all the time.

Likewise the mouse thing is a little misinformed. Higher DPI cameras isn't worthless on an optical mouse. It lets it track on more uniform surfaces. No matter how uniform something looks, at some point it's uneven. Well, optical mice need uneveness to track, that's why they don't work on a mirror, or a really smooth surface, they can't track details. One way to make them track better is to up the DPI. The smaller details they see, the more uniform a surface can be. That's also the point behind using a laser. Since it is truly monochromatic light, just one frequency, it shows small details in a starker contrast that is lost with normal LED light.

Though there's certianly BS targeted at the gamer market, this being some of the BS, there's plenty of products with real legit reasons to be bought. Not everyone wants an experience that is "acceptable" or "works jsut good enough to get the job done." Doesn't mean they are wasting money on the things they buy. Yes a $50 used mountain bike will get me to work and back, but that doesn't mean that I'm wasting money on a deceant $600 street bike. It honestly does work better.

It must be good !! (4, Funny)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 7 years ago | (#15869857)

It must be good! Have you seen the size of the fan on that thing ;)

$280 pre order? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15869859)

I guess this gives rise to a new saying: A n00b and his money are soon parted.

Re:$280 pre order? (1)

DarthStrydre (685032) | more than 7 years ago | (#15870018)

The axiom that we have had around for a couple years is...

"A n00b and his AWP are soon pwn3d."

I can't believe I wasted the time to post that... :-P

The telling comment at the end (4, Insightful)

grasshoppa (657393) | more than 7 years ago | (#15869866)

All the founders met at the University of Texas while getting their MBAs.

That says all that needs to be said for the article.

I've said it before... (4, Insightful)

BertieBaggio (944287) | more than 7 years ago | (#15869870)

This, of course, was covered earlier [slashdot.org] . And I still agree with the tag - I think it is snake oil.

Let's try and remember a few fundamentals. As per RFC 1925, "The 12 Networking Truths": [faqs.org]

[2] No matter how hard you push and no matter what the priority, you can't increase the speed of light.

(Déja vu? Yes! [slashdot.org] )

Right on. This card might process incoming data quicker, or perhaps even send the data to the CPU faster, but it won't reduce latency. The high price ($280? TFA is not responding) does not justify the alleged 'improvements' in lag this card offers. Games communicating over UDP like BF2 have fairly low lag anyway (when they stay connected...). As others have said: spend the money on RAM or some other upgrade. The 'lag' improvement will be much more cost-effective.

Look who's in charge of marketing (1)

sammydee (930754) | more than 7 years ago | (#15869876)

" Bob Grim, Vice President of Marketing, has a wealth of sales and marketing experience from his time in Marketing at AMD"

Well this product is practically guaranteed tobe a complete commercial success then...

Big laffs! (2, Funny)

Ancient_Hacker (751168) | more than 7 years ago | (#15869879)

The best lie is the boldest.

Of all the things a spiffy network card could do, reducing latency is just about the least likely.

They could have put 20mb of buffers on it.

They could buy glow-in-the-dark pc board material.

They could have put a handful of bright blinky led's on it.

They could even put on a 12AX7 vacuum tube to do something useful.

They could put built-in auto ping.

But what do they do? Put another layer of OS glop in the way. Big laffs!!

Hardcore gamers use IPX (0)

Jimmy King (828214) | more than 7 years ago | (#15869891)

From TFA:
Many network products today claim to 'offload' network calculations (like checksum, tcp segmentation, etc.). Those technologies are usually only for TCP/IP networking (which most games that Hardcore Gamers play don't use).
What? This may be a neat idea, although has some obvious issues as others have pointed out, but I can't trust a word these guys say after reading that.

Re:Hardcore gamers use IPX (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15869989)

I assume you have heard of UDP/IP, and are fully aware that this is the most prevalent protcol for real-time data?

Re:Hardcore gamers use IPX (1)

Jimmy King (828214) | more than 7 years ago | (#15870058)

If that's what they meant, that's an ass backwards, unclear as hell way to state it. While not necessarily technically correct, most people refer to the IP suite as TCP/IP, and so would include apps that are using UDP as using TCP/IP. Looks like they sort of clear it up a few lines down, but I stopped reading after that first line.

This is such BS (1)

McNihil (612243) | more than 7 years ago | (#15869893)

I have never seen such a blatant premature optimization. Why have the IP stack in hardware and "pre-cache" packets for the host OS? Much cheaper to make good network drivers in the first place (and if you have latency problems you have them because of CPU depletion and no pre-caching will for ever hide that.) These MBA students should get an A+ if this crap gets anywhere above ground level.

What a waste of money (2, Insightful)

spun (1352) | more than 7 years ago | (#15869894)

What kind of geek wannabe would waste money on this? Nowhere on their site do they show benchmarks or even vague references to how much this will speed up your networking or FPS. Oooh! it offloads network processing, leaving your CPU free to PLAY THE GAME!!! That's probably going to speed things up by like .5%. AWESOME!!! TO THE MAX!!!

This is the tech equivalent of herbal viagra.

Re:What a waste of money (1)

Raxxon (6291) | more than 7 years ago | (#15870062)

Gee.... TOE Offloading is an option on several of the Gig Nics I've seen. What else really needs to be moved from the CPU/OS to the NIC?

GPL (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15869914)

Show me the source. This sounds like a potential GPL violation.

400 MHz? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15869934)

Somehow it seems unlikely that a 400 MHz "32 bit" CPU (probably an ARM or a Geode) running Linux can increase performance relative to a 3 GHz or so CPU running Windows. In fact, it seems most likely that this would actually slow down networking performance, especially in heavy traffic situations.

Will game soundtracks sound warmer, too? (2, Funny)

brainnolo (688900) | more than 7 years ago | (#15869962)

That's right! The card has high quality vacuum tubes and a special magnetic stone that will make the sound much warmer. Another great feature is that this NIC is so powerful only your packets will get to the server, so nobody can shoot at you! Seriously now, what were these guys trying to do? Probably the card was created for the FNA thing, then when they found it had no application at all, they tried to find a market for it.

Wow. Just wow. (2, Interesting)

MBCook (132727) | more than 7 years ago | (#15869970)

OK, I thought gamers were suckers (paying $600+ for graphics cards) but really.

A $280 network card.

But wait, there's more!

It's also... a Linux box. And not just a Linux box, an "Open Source Linux" box.

Plus it has USB so you can connect a hard drive or headset???

OK, the basic idea is interesting. Offload all the TCP/UDP/IP processing. I have to wonder how much impact that would really have. But how does the data get onto the host computer? If it's via a driver that shows up as a NIC, then it still has to go through the network layers of the OS. If it shows up as some kind of memory, then the host applications must be written to use it. The idea of offloading a few other features too (like voice chat) is nice too, but again, you'd have to write special software or drivers or something on the host OS to use that.

And you can use it for a hard drive. If they open it, background bittorrent anyone?

Or you could just let your NIC have a hard drive for fun that you can't access. Genius!

Look, if they had a little ARM processor and it did the network stuff only, that would be cute. But I think they over built it, it's over priced, and I seriously doubt it has much impact.

I wonder if they'll make Linux drivers available *smirk*

Re:Wow. Just wow. (1)

Jimmy King (828214) | more than 7 years ago | (#15870007)

I "think" the point of the USB is so that you can use the nic as a seperate computer. It's kind of a neat idea if it didn't cost so much. My first thought was using it as some sort of poor man's blade server... get 3 or 4 and stick em in your pci slots. But not at $280 each, I could just buy a single computer that would outperform all of them combined for less. For a much more reasonable price it has some potential and niche uses. Of course, I don't trust these guys one bit. Their comments, such as (paraphrased) "most games today don't use tcp/ip" show that they don't know shit and are horrible liars. I'm sure there was more, but I stopped reading after that.

No wonder he was so concerned about lag... (1)

Jonah Hex (651948) | more than 7 years ago | (#15869972)

As a side note, Harlan met his wife in Ultima Online, married her in the game, and then eventually married her in real life.
As a former Chesapeake player (DogMeat[MoO] of Oberon Pass) I can just see the scenario...

Do you take this woodelf to be your...
PKs!!1! Recall1111
Corp Por Corp Por Corp Por
Oooo ooooo oo oo ooooooooo ooooo ooooo Translation: I'm going to do something about this!

Jonah HEX

kinda cool (1, Interesting)

digitalsushi (137809) | more than 7 years ago | (#15869975)

This sort of looks like a crappy TOE - TCP Offload Engine. You can get a TOE NIC from Chelsio for a grand that'll do gig rates. Anyone ever try to get gigabit speeds out of their NIC? It's not so easy. It takes a lot of overhead to encapsulate data inside ethernet frames. Offloading that job to your ethernet card is a nice way to keep your CPU doing the stuff you want it focused on.

It's sort of clever, I think. If your CPU is pegged calculating physics for a video game, or however you kids crunch math, having the NIC doing the actual packetization of your location info is a small step towards getting better response times. Honestly, I could see this being like those riceboys -- adding so much "bling" to your car that it actually slows it down in an attempt to make it look faster. *Shrug* Either way, I think this company will sell a few of these, and by a few, I literally mean few.

The fastest we've ever gotten a machine to spit data out the line was with a 10 gig ethernet card, with a TOE in it, and that rate was 1.2 gigabit/second. The bus could handle 7.6 gigabit max, but we got nowhere near that due to the framing involved. We were just piping /dev/random over a netcat connection and into /dev/null, too. Couldn't figure out how to do anything faster. Any ideas? Cause we were stumped.

Snake oil (1)

MetricT (128876) | more than 7 years ago | (#15869981)

This card is meant for the "audiophile gold cable crackpot" market. It offers no real-world benefit, at a very substantial cost.

This sort of card *might* (might!) be of use in a server environment where you're trying to transfer gigabits of data at a whack. In fact, they already have it. It's called TCP Offload Engine (TOE). Unless you are rendering Doom 3 on your Beowulf cluster at 1600x1200 and sending the raw uncompressed data over ethernet, you aren't going to need this sort of card for gaming.

For lower latency, you need to ditch ethernet altogether and use a different switch fabric, like Myrinet or Infiniband. Again, not for video games.

QoS might have an effect (1)

Aelix (687985) | more than 7 years ago | (#15870009)

QoS (i.e. "Gamefirst" I guess?) can have a very significant effect on ping, so it might not be entirely snake oil. However if there's more than one person on your network it's useless to have it on the NIC, and you can get decent, _cheap_ QoS on a custom firmware on a WRT54GL router. You could also get the same effect from just turning off your bloody P2P. While not entirely snake oil, this is pretty useless, people will buy it though because while there's $300++ video and sound cards, there isn't a network card that's that expensive, and you know... err... more money == better?

But... (1)

Shadyman (939863) | more than 7 years ago | (#15870010)

Does it run Linux?

qos (1)

trybywrench (584843) | more than 7 years ago | (#15870013)

hah maybe it uses qos to give game traffic higher priority then spy/malware traffic coming out of the os. I bet they did all their testing on an unpatched unfirewalled Windows box.

btw, latency is not related to bandwidth so all those"well my home network is gigabit and i have no latency" arguments don't apply. My 10mbit network has the same latency as a 10gigabit network.

KillerNic? (1)

idontgno (624372) | more than 7 years ago | (#15870021)

Sounds like a fine BLAZEMONGER [blazemonger.com] product.

This reminds me... (1)

zarozarozaro (756135) | more than 7 years ago | (#15870041)

of those monster cable products(not a plug.) You take a piece of standard hardware, an RCA cable or a 10/100/1000 nic, put gold contacts on it, and a certain percentage of people will go for it. I don't think that you get much better sound out of a gold plated cable, and I don't think your gaming experience will be any better with this nic, but if it outperforms the other guy's hardware, even just on a bench test...I still won't buy it.

A couple of words come to mind... (1)

infosec_spaz (968690) | more than 7 years ago | (#15870051)

Weak Sauce...

Pretty Junk (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15870055)

How does the quote by Bill Gates go? "If you can't make it work at least make it look good." or something to that effect.

Sort of old (1)

crabpeople (720852) | more than 7 years ago | (#15870060)

These people have been making these outrageous claims for months. I thought that it must of been on slashdot before, or i would have posted it for the extreme joke level. Firingsquad had a review [firingsquad.com] in july of it, and it seems to be an ongoing joke over there as well.

Its really quite funny. My favourite "feature" from The manufacturers OWN website PDF [killernic.com] :

Ping Throttle: When other gamers complain that your ping is too low, adjust it a little higher untill they stop whining. Then, dial it back down and go in for the kill!

The guy who invented it aparently got really fed up with lag and developed special "algorithms" to optimize your packets or something. The original interview is here [firingsquad.com] . The inventor basically comes off as either an amazing exercise in self deception or not terribly bright. If theres even a difference between those two things. I REALLY want to see benchmarks, but it will probably just be the phantom console all over again.

On March 22nd, we will release some of the details behind our technology. The technology is called LLR, Lag and Latency Reduction. Everyone can read more about LLR at our website on that day. In general, you've said it right, it helps to fight Lag. It does this using a custom designed Gaming Network Processor (the first of its kind) to fight all 3 of the causes of Lag (Client, Network, and Server). If I told you exactly how it worked, I'd have to kill you

One of the interesting things is that he talks about how the game that drove his lag rage over the edge was UO, which was a really great example of crazy server lag that went unfixed for *years*. You could play on a 28.8 modem and it wasnt even THAT laggy, but everyone would mostly have world lag at the same times. But i guess this LLR tech will upgrade the servers or something. Hes a nutter. Might as well strap some magnets on the side of your nic for all the good that this will do you.

One cool guy! (1)

dook43 (660162) | more than 7 years ago | (#15870063)

Harlan Beverly is the CEO and Mad Scientist of Bigfoot Networks
..snip....
As a side note, Harlan met his wife in Ultima Online, married her in the game, and then eventually married her in real life


Nothing more needs to be said.

Oddly enough... (1)

martinultima (832468) | more than 7 years ago | (#15870077)

Their specifications sheets don't want to pull up in Konqueror / KPDF... they open, but you can't read the text. Guess they're Linux-friendly only if you're running Windows...

cluster? (1)

brickballs (839527) | more than 7 years ago | (#15870095)

I know theres a beowulf joke in here somewhere...

Well, if it supports PowerPlay, I'll get one (1)

bunions (970377) | more than 7 years ago | (#15870097)

but not until then, because PowerPlay is the Technology of the Future!
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