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The EVGA Killer Xeno Pro NIC and UO

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Lefty, May 11, 2009.

  1. Lefty

    Lefty Lore Keeper
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    Hi All! Thought I would write up something of interest. As many know I have been a part of Stratics since 99 and also know that I am into System building, repair, retail, connection/optimization and of course UO.

    I thought I would give you all the low down on the new Evga Killer Xeno Pro Network Card and its effects on your system as well as of course UO!

    So what is this card all about, Well let me do some copy & paste magic and show you.

    [​IMG]

    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.


    Ok, So I ordered one of these from my supplier and it arrived today. Before the install, I documented my ping from Missouri to Sonoma.owo.com using UOtrace.

    [​IMG]

    The Computer (kind of old, but reliable)
    Custom built by me :}
    AMD Athlon 939 4800+ dual Core CPU 2mb L2 Cache
    Motherboard - Asus A8N32SLI Deluxe
    Ram - 2GB DDR1 OCZ Platinums
    HD - 1TB 32MB Cache Seagate 7200rpm
    Video - Old 7300GT Nvidia Card PCIE16
    2 Off the wall DvD drives
    1 an ancient floppy drive
    512gb External
    Zulman air cooled

    Ok so this machine is my old gaming rig which over the past year has been turned into a Web,FTP,Mail server as well as a web developing machine and of course like a lot of folks I have all sorts of apps running now like msn and yahoo messenger, ICQ, Antivirus, and other stuff running in the background. Which it isn't really set up for a dedicated gaming rig which it should be. Keep this in mind if you will.

    Now what is suggested by the manufacturer and other users of this product is that you should disable any other network cards you have through the bios before installing the Xeno. This is true, but what they don't tell you is that if you need to copy down your IP settings if you have a special (static) connection. Be sure to check first. If you obtain an IP address automatically (DHCP) then you should have no problems. After this disable the current network card through the bios and uninstall the drivers then shut the system down.

    The Xeno comes with a PCIe X1 connection type, but it will fit in any PCIE slot from 1X to 16X for those who are worried about finding room for the card.

    Installing is a breeze. Unplug your comp and take it to your kitchen table. Unscrew the cover of your PC and remove it.

    The first rule, besides unplugging the PC from the power outlet is to ground yourself so no static charge will arc across and ruin you motherboard. The right method is to use a grounding strap, but you can simply use a copper wire around the wrist with the other end screwed to the power supply as a ground. I usually ground myself in this method.

    Before installing the Nic, you should get rid of any dust bunnies inside the case. Dust bunnies can cause a lot of problems. For instance a fan can be clogged by a dust bunnies and can cause sudden system failures, the pc suddently shuts off, it can lead to overheating and cook your CPU etc. So get rid of them with a can of Air that you can find at any Wal-Mart in the electronics area.

    After you have eradicated the dust bunnies, it is time to install the Xeno. Simply and firmly seat it into the PCIE slot and screw it down. Button up the case, and reconnect the cables and fire it up, and install the drivers from the accompanied installation disk.

    The Results - [​IMG]

    Ok, you might say big woop, right? 6ms, big deal, well that is not the power of the Xeno, not fully. It is the off loading of the network packets, and freeing up CPU cycles. When I rebooted after the install, my computer went into hyper mode. I was amazed and at this time it isn't fully optimized or overclocked in any fashion. Right now my Ethies have jet packs strapped on!
     
  2. Arch Magus

    Arch Magus Guest

    All that for just 19.99$ ?

    But wait!! there's more....

    lol, we'll throw in a free Snuggie plus a Shamwow!
     
  3. Quenchant

    Quenchant Seasoned Veteran
    Stratics Veteran Alumni Stratics Legend 4H

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    Actually, $140 at New Egg

    Press Release from Tom's Hardware

    Too bad I do most of my gaming on a laptop. Still might give one a whirl for the desktop.

    Thanx for the Info lefty.

    Q
     
  4. Lefty

    Lefty Lore Keeper
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    no problem. As it stands now, I can compete with the egg on this product and a few others. I will be doing a republish on my site real soon. This of course will consist of an error fix, an upgrade and fixes to the site as well as a new catalog of products. The latter however is taking the longest. If I can find a good catalog/data source provider for my product files that doesn't charge out the ying yang it would make things a ton easier.

    Anyways the Xeno is a pretty sound solution for UO.



    BTW, remind the powers that be that Stratics Advertising never has gotten back to me.
     
  5. Thangorodrim

    Thangorodrim Guest

    So, you will just spam the forum? Nice.

    Did you notice that your latency in your first few hops is essentially the same? Meaning - your NIC is not doing jack.

    There are plenty of PCIe NICs with TOE of one sort or another. All of which, by the way, are designed to reduce latency in very high bandwidth applications, not gaming over dsl connections.
     
  6. But he was saying soce the cpu is doing less network legwork, his cpu has more overhead for uo now.
     
  7. Most of the improvement isn't from the card. Hop #5 is different, giving you your 6ms overall drop in ping (actually much bigger on #5). Would the card had anything to do with that route change? If not, then can't see how it made any difference unless I am reading the trace route wrong.
     
  8. Nok

    Nok Lore Master
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    Good job Lefty.
     
  9. I was going to suggest the same thing. It's more likely the speed was influenced network wise versus product wise. That thing didn't really provide any real consistent statistics that would persuade me into investing in it while at the same time I could buy a generic/cheaper network adapter that would deliver similar, if not the same results.

    most MMO Games use UDP. Anything that ensures data delivery via TCP slows the process down. If anything, this network adapter would slow your gaming down, otherwise, you risk sacraficing extra system performance in order to gain the upper edge for the extra 6ms to ensure delivery. Just get good broadband.
     
  10. Anakena

    Anakena Seasoned Veteran
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  11. Nok

    Nok Lore Master
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  12. Violence

    Violence Lore Keeper
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    Allright.. All new NVidia MBs and their built-in systems to handle the problems with lag all these "Net Killer" cards supposedly eliminate... do a far better job.

    Go find more reviews and comparisons on the net, on average everyone concludes you're far better buying one of those MBs.

    Sorry.. :talktothehand: And really, when you have an I-7, for example, you don't actually worry if UO's gonna run smooth. Oh wait, UO is such a technological miracle that you ACTUALLY DO. :next:
     
  13. o2bavr6

    o2bavr6 Slightly Crazed
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    So where did you buy the Ultra card from? I looked around and only found the Pro card.

    Edit - Never mind, I found out that it hasn't been released yet.
     
  14. Lefty

    Lefty Lore Keeper
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    Not so, This is the only card that I know of that has it's own NPU ( like a CPU) on it. IT runs under linux and offloads a ton of network traffic and bypasses the windows network stack. This frees up CPU cycles, not just a few, but a ton. This increases overall performance, meaning the number of processing threads you have currently will be processed faster and not hindered by a bulky network stack. Thus client.exe loads faster, sends and receives packets faster.
     
  15. AND it makes cappuccino, too!

    Without real-world benchmarks, it means absolutely nothing. Your trace routes don't match and can't be used for comparison. Does it work as well on multi-core processors, x64 OS systems? It just might be a great card and work as well as you say, but there is no way of knowing whether the $150 is worth the price based on your reviews or other reviews I've found on this card.
     
  16. Anakena

    Anakena Seasoned Veteran
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    Actually the benefits of such a card will not necessarily be found in the ping but in the fact that it discharges the cpu and the OS from some tasks. If your game is 'bottlenecked" by the cpu/OS, that card could help.

    But in most cases, it would be a better idea to upgrade your cpu. Of course if the upgrade means buying a new Mobo, cpu and some new RAM, buying a killer nic could be an option.
     
  17. Bella Morte

    Bella Morte Visitor

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    Actually they work very well, and if you would pay attention to what he's saying, you might understand why.
     
  18. Lefty

    Lefty Lore Keeper
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    It doesn't matter what type of CPU you are running, what chipset, and ram. The fact is your system gets bogged down by network traffic and note that UO is a sprite based game. That means everything gets rendered through the CPU and not the GPU on your graphics card.

    The fact of the matter is you can go out and build and or buy a $2,000-$6,000 system and perform well, but also I can take an old Athlon 754 single core emachine and perform just as well if not better in some situations. In other words it is a good equalizer which is important, especially if your home shard is across the map.