The Killer brand of networking controllers and Wi-Fi modules have been a constant part of the computing ecosystem for over a decade. As of late, the value-add of their products has been the implementation of heuristic analysis techniques to detect data stream types (video, torrent, gaming), allowing the hardware to prioritize data streams accordingly. Last year, Rivet Networks (the company that develops and owns Killer) announced a collaboration with Intel to develop an 802.11ac Wave 2 module, built on Intel hardware, but with the Killer secret sauce. For CES this year, the company is announcing its foray into multi-gigabit Ethernet controllers.

The Killer E3000 is a networking chip that supports 2.5 gigabit, 1 gigabit, and 100 megabit connectivity speeds. It will debut on a number of OEM devices during Q1, including Dell, Alienware, Acer, and also desktops and motherboards. The chip uses Killer's Advanced Stream Detect Technology that classifies data streams and prioritizes the data pipe accordingly, catching any software that is not already in a predetermined 1000 application settings list. 

Control over the prioritization will be done through the latest new Killer Control Center 2.0 software, allowing users to manually configure or monitor network activity. The software also comes with GameFast, which pauses known processes that steal CPU cycles (such as search indexing or background maintenance) during gameplay. Rivet reports up to 10-20% of CPU and memory can be saved depending on the system in question. The software also includes KIE, Killer's Intelligence Engine, that will offer suggestions to improve network connectivity based on the settings of the system and the quality of the connection.

Obviously, the big question around 2.5 GbE networking is asking where the switches are - there's no point having 2.5 GbE if there's nothing to connect it to! Rivet Networks answered this by saying that as routers come to the market that support >1 Gbps Wi-FI speeds, such as Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax), physical connections to these routers will also need to be upgraded to ensure consistent data-rates for all connected devices.

In the press release, it was confirmed that Acer's new Predator Triton 900 and Triton 500 gaming notebooks will support the Killer E3000 controller. Other devices will be announced through 2019.

Comments Locked


View All Comments

  • jeremyshaw - Tuesday, January 8, 2019 - link

    Do you know who actually makes this package/IC/PHY? AFAIK, Killer no longer has any HW teams, after their PPC ethernet cards were discontinued.
  • goatfajitas - Tuesday, January 8, 2019 - link

    No, but no-one makes thier own stuff anymore. It's likely one of the big contract manufacturers, flextronics, inventec, foxconn, etc.
  • jeremyshaw - Tuesday, January 8, 2019 - link

    I was thinking Intel or Qualcomm.
  • siuol11 - Tuesday, January 8, 2019 - link

    Probably Realtek, they are what Killer has been using in the 2500.
  • takeshi7 - Tuesday, January 8, 2019 - link

    Their PPC ethernet cards had so much wasted potential too. I still have one. They could have offloaded so much stuff. I still like plugging it into my computer to see I have a "PowerPC Processor" listed in device manager.

    But yeah, too many broken promises and unreliable software has led me to actively avoid Killer when I'm shopping.
  • romrunning - Tuesday, January 8, 2019 - link

    If you really wanted me to think you have a "killer" (amazing) networking product, you should support 5GbE & 10GbE as well.
  • bcronce - Tuesday, January 8, 2019 - link

    Every interaction I've ever had with Killer NICs has been horrible. Buggy drivers, buggy additional apps if you want to "take advantage" of the features. The features themselves work by heavily limiting bandwidth. Good luck Twitch streaming while using these features. The features only help if you're the only device on the network.

    The CPU usage during file transfers is horrendous. Killer NIC uses about 70% cpu on a quad core Skylake and 40,000 interrupts per second and can barely break 900Mb/s. Installed an Intel NIC and interrupts dropped down to around 1,000/sec without tweaking settings, and CPU was below 1%. Enable some DMA coalescing and interrupt moderation, usage dropped into fractional percentages.
  • - Tuesday, January 8, 2019 - link

    If there was ever a pointless product, this is it!
  • Bp_968 - Wednesday, January 9, 2019 - link

    Or you could buy a dual port 10gbe card for 20-40$ or a single port 40gb infiniband card for 30$. Heck if you buy dual port cards you don't even need a switch to connect 2-3 PCs. 20gb infiniband switches can be picked up pretty cheap now and support fiber connectivity making them pretty easy to wire up (the older 10gb stuff tended to use very thick very annoying cables). And fiber cable is actually pretty cheap now.
  • shompa - Wednesday, January 9, 2019 - link

    if you have thunderbolt stuff: just use thunderbolt cables. Even 5 + year old TB1 cables manage 10Gbps. Ethernet over Thunderbolt works great. Now with TB3/cheaper cables, you can get way faster speed than any ethernet.

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now