Our testing methods
Those considering picking up a Killer NIC will almost certainly be looking to replace an onboard networking solution, so we've compared the card against a couple of popular options. The first comes to us via Nvidia's nForce 680i SLI chipset, which features a couple of integrated Gigabit Ethernet controllers with hardware TCP offload engines. Our second contender is a PCI Express GigE card based on Marvell's Yukon 88E8052 Gigabit chip—a popular choice for integrated motherboard networking.
Since the Killer NIC isn't cheap, we've put together a reasonably powerful gaming system for testing
All tests were run three times, and their results were averaged, using the following test systems.
|Processor||Core 2 Duo E6400 2.13GHz|
|System bus||1066MHz (266MHz quad-pumped)|
|North bridge||Nvidia nForce 680i SLI SPP|
|South bridge||Nvidia nForce 680i SLI MCP|
|Chipset drivers||ForceWare 15.00|
|Memory size||2GB (2 DIMMs)|
|Memory type||Corsair TWIN2X2048-8500C5 DDR2 SDRAM at 800MHz|
|CAS latency (CL)||4|
|RAS to CAS delay (tRCD)||4|
|RAS precharge (tRP)||4|
|Cycle time (tRAS)||12|
|Audio||Integrated nForce 680i SLI MCP/ALC885 with Realtek HD 1.67 drivers|
|Graphics||EVGA GeForce 8800 GTX 768MB PCIe|
|Graphics driver||ForceWare 158.18 drivers|
|Networking||Bigfoot Killer NIC with 188.8.131.52 drivers|
|Marvell Yukon 88E8052 with 10.14.6.3 drivers|
|Integrated nForce 680i SLI MCP with Forceware 15.00 drivers|
|Hard drive||Western Digital Caviar RE2 400GB|
|OS||Windows Vista Ultimate x64|
Thanks to Corsair for providing us with memory for our testing. 2GB of RAM seems to be the new standard for most folks, and Corsair hooked us up with some of its 1GB DIMMs for testing.
Also, all of our test systems were powered by OCZ GameXStream 700W power supply units. Thanks to OCZ for providing these units for our use in testing.
We used the following versions of our test applications:
The test systems' Windows desktop was set at 1280x1024 in 32-bit color at an 85Hz screen refresh rate. Vertical refresh sync (vsync) was disabled for all tests.
All the tests and methods we employed are publicly available and reproducible. If you have questions about our methods, hit our forums to talk with us about them.
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