Bigfoot Networks targeted a niche, but growing, market segment when it released its network interface card (NIC) for gamers, appropriately called Killer, a couple of years back. Since then, gamers' demands for features like lag-free chatting have only increased, though so, too, has networking technology. So Bigfoot today announced at the Game Developers Conference the next generation of, erm, Killer: the Killer Xeno series.
Xeno comes in two flavors: Pro and Ultra, with the biggest difference between the two being that Ultra has twice the onboard memory (256MB) than the Pro. Both featured a new networking processor as well as integrated audio to help improve the in-game chatting experience. They also sport a new form factor, now requiring an open PCI Express slot whereas the first-generation Killer cards needed only a PCI slot. Along with improved bandwidth control, the additional memory and new interface (and its superior throughput) promise reduced latency that can impact both game play and real-time trash talking.
The Xeno Pro is slated to cost $129.99 and be available from gaming PC company (well, subsidiary of Dell) Alienware and component maker EVGA in April. The Xeno Ultra, which also features an on-card LED display for call, game, and network info, will be on sale the following month from online tech retailers. For you hardcore fraggers, is this add-on worth the price? Let us know in the TalkBack section.