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Thread: Killer Ethernet E2500

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    Killer Ethernet E2500

    Striving for a better network experience.
    Read more.

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    Re: Killer Ethernet E2500

    I have a "killer" network chip in my motherboard..and tbh..I see no difference over any other NIC i've owned in the past 10 years.

    If there is one part of my PC that always "just works" and never has any noticeable aspect on performance, its the (wired!) network card. It's different with wireless, but every wired NIC i've owned has just worked.

    This smells to me like a company trying their hardest to solve a problem that really just doesn't exist. I could get it if you had gigabit fiber and the same tech at your router/switch/every point in the network - but when 99.9% of people are running a cable to a standard broadband router (Home Hub or whatever) which is then going over copper to their exchange..this sort of thing isn't going to make a jot of difference.

    When it comes to localised traffic shaping - this really isn't an issue either. If you are interested in optimising your network for gaming, then you just don't download things at the same time as playing your game..throttling your download doesn't really help as your PC is still doing it and that will still have a negative impact - so you'd just stop it, right? Windows updates don't generally auto start downloading when you are using the PC anymore (at least if you are running windows 10) but even if they do, you can put a stop to it very easily.

    Pointless bit of marketing bluff imo

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    Re: Killer Ethernet E2500

    Quote Originally Posted by Spud1 View Post
    I have a "killer" network chip in my motherboard..and tbh..I see no difference over any other NIC i've owned in the past 10 years.

    If there is one part of my PC that always "just works" and never has any noticeable aspect on performance, its the (wired!) network card. It's different with wireless, but every wired NIC i've owned has just worked.

    This smells to me like a company trying their hardest to solve a problem that really just doesn't exist. I could get it if you had gigabit fiber and the same tech at your router/switch/every point in the network - but when 99.9% of people are running a cable to a standard broadband router (Home Hub or whatever) which is then going over copper to their exchange..this sort of thing isn't going to make a jot of difference.

    When it comes to localised traffic shaping - this really isn't an issue either. If you are interested in optimising your network for gaming, then you just don't download things at the same time as playing your game..throttling your download doesn't really help as your PC is still doing it and that will still have a negative impact - so you'd just stop it, right? Windows updates don't generally auto start downloading when you are using the PC anymore (at least if you are running windows 10) but even if they do, you can put a stop to it very easily.

    Pointless bit of marketing bluff imo
    That's the same "why automate anything when you can kind of do the same thing manually" argument that's seen in any context where newfangled "intelligent" automation and optimization is launched.

    The whole point of this is to not have to actively monitor and manage your network traffic. Forgot to pause your torrents? No problem. Something updating in the background? No problem. Running an online game, a VOIP service, and streaming at the same time? No problem. See? Sure, you could just set Steam (and GOG Galaxy, Origin and all the others) to not download while a game is running. But given that games never saturate a modern broadband connection (yet are highly sensitive to latency and thus react poorly when having to compete for bandwidth), you're effectively wasting bandwidth whenever you're playing. If your game needs 5-10mbps at minimum latency, yet your connection is 30+mbps, why not use at least some of the remainder for something useful? As long as the connection isn't maxed out and the driver does its job in prioritizing packets, the effect on game latency should be as close to zero as makes no difference.

    This is what computers are best at - managing things with a level of systematization, degree of control and attention to detail that humans couldn't possibly come close to. Ignoring this is effectively saying no to a better computing experience. The problem is that creating systems like this that work as they should is hard. Machine learning is helping a lot, as well as other developments. Rivet Networks seems to be getting there with LAN.

    But as the review says: this needs to happen at the router level as well. Otherwise, this is pointless in many cases.

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    Re: Killer Ethernet E2500

    Thanks Hexus for this review. I was just looking at this on another site & Youtube reviews. I like the new updated layout in the software so that you can prioritise applications is a list. Advance Stream Detect definitely is a smart tech. My questions is, is it really Value for money. What do you really gain from it. Its not like GSync that made a massive difference to peoples games its more minimal.

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    Re: Killer Ethernet E2500

    Yeah, if you're daft enough to be downloading a large file and watching a 4K video whilst trying to online game then you're daft enough to buy this novelty. If you're trying to online game whilst other people sharing your internets are watching Netflix then that's fairly normal. A Killer router makes sense, this doesn't.

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    Re: Killer Ethernet E2500

    Take a regular computer component, paint some go faster stripes or flames on it and brand it "gaming". Mark up by 100% or more. Hope people fall for it.

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    Re: Killer Ethernet E2500

    Pretty sure the Home Office will be banning this imminently due to the logo.

    I think Anandtech did a deep look into Killer NICs a while ago and concluded it was 99% software optimisation at work.

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    Re: Killer Ethernet E2500

    Quote Originally Posted by Valantar View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Spud1 View Post
    I have a "killer" network chip in my motherboard..and tbh..I see no difference over any other NIC i've owned in the past 10 years.

    If there is one part of my PC that always "just works" and never has any noticeable aspect on performance, its the (wired!) network card. It's different with wireless, but every wired NIC i've owned has just worked.

    This smells to me like a company trying their hardest to solve a problem that really just doesn't exist. I could get it if you had gigabit fiber and the same tech at your router/switch/every point in the network - but when 99.9% of people are running a cable to a standard broadband router (Home Hub or whatever) which is then going over copper to their exchange..this sort of thing isn't going to make a jot of difference.

    When it comes to localised traffic shaping - this really isn't an issue either. If you are interested in optimising your network for gaming, then you just don't download things at the same time as playing your game..throttling your download doesn't really help as your PC is still doing it and that will still have a negative impact - so you'd just stop it, right? Windows updates don't generally auto start downloading when you are using the PC anymore (at least if you are running windows 10) but even if they do, you can put a stop to it very easily.

    Pointless bit of marketing bluff imo
    That's the same "why automate anything when you can kind of do the same thing manually" argument that's seen in any context where newfangled "intelligent" automation and optimization is launched.

    The whole point of this is to not have to actively monitor and manage your network traffic. Forgot to pause your torrents? No problem. Something updating in the background? No problem. Running an online game, a VOIP service, and streaming at the same time? No problem. See? Sure, you could just set Steam (and GOG Galaxy, Origin and all the others) to not download while a game is running. But given that games never saturate a modern broadband connection (yet are highly sensitive to latency and thus react poorly when having to compete for bandwidth), you're effectively wasting bandwidth whenever you're playing. If your game needs 5-10mbps at minimum latency, yet your connection is 30+mbps, why not use at least some of the remainder for something useful? As long as the connection isn't maxed out and the driver does its job in prioritizing packets, the effect on game latency should be as close to zero as makes no difference.

    This is what computers are best at - managing things with a level of systematization, degree of control and attention to detail that humans couldn't possibly come close to. Ignoring this is effectively saying no to a better computing experience. The problem is that creating systems like this that work as they should is hard. Machine learning is helping a lot, as well as other developments. Rivet Networks seems to be getting there with LAN.

    But as the review says: this needs to happen at the router level as well. Otherwise, this is pointless in many cases.
    Who doesn't use a router these days?

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    Re: Killer Ethernet E2500

    This is only useful if you have ONE machine.. What is the point of having traffic prioritised on one machine if you have 3 other "unmanaged" machines (or TV boxes or whatever else) raping your connection.. You just need a decent router to do this for ALL devices

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    Re: Killer Ethernet E2500

    Surely this is down to the limitation of your broadband speed anyway. If you have a potato 100mb card on a fast 200mb connection you're hardly going to care are you

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    Re: Killer Ethernet E2500

    Let's see if they can manage to make this version of the "Killer" drivers not be an utter failure. And all the "Killer" NICs are are just RTL chipsets driven by custom drivers. They've been notoriously and historically garbage.

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    Re: Killer Ethernet E2500

    When reading this review, it struck me about how every claim made was a driver-related claim. Nothing in the stated capabilities made sense as a change to the silicon between E2500 and the older E2400.

    So I decided to look at the Linux driver source code, which has no advanced features (just a functional gigabit network chip, nothing more nothing less)

    Behold the complete change to Linux's generic Qualcomm/Atheros AR816x/AR817x driver to support the E2500:

    Code:
    diff --git a/drivers/net/ethernet/atheros/alx/main.c b/drivers/net/ethernet/atheros/alx/main.c
    index 6453148..4eb17da 100644
    --- a/drivers/net/ethernet/atheros/alx/main.c
    +++ b/drivers/net/ethernet/atheros/alx/main.c
    @@ -1545,6 +1545,8 @@ static const struct pci_device_id alx_pci_tbl[] = {
     	  .driver_data = ALX_DEV_QUIRK_MSI_INTX_DISABLE_BUG },
     	{ PCI_VDEVICE(ATTANSIC, ALX_DEV_ID_E2400),
     	  .driver_data = ALX_DEV_QUIRK_MSI_INTX_DISABLE_BUG },
    +	{ PCI_VDEVICE(ATTANSIC, ALX_DEV_ID_E2500),
    +	  .driver_data = ALX_DEV_QUIRK_MSI_INTX_DISABLE_BUG },
     	{ PCI_VDEVICE(ATTANSIC, ALX_DEV_ID_AR8162),
     	  .driver_data = ALX_DEV_QUIRK_MSI_INTX_DISABLE_BUG },
     	{ PCI_VDEVICE(ATTANSIC, ALX_DEV_ID_AR8171) },
    diff --git a/drivers/net/ethernet/atheros/alx/reg.h b/drivers/net/ethernet/atheros/alx/reg.h
    index 0959e68..1fc2d85 100644
    --- a/drivers/net/ethernet/atheros/alx/reg.h
    +++ b/drivers/net/ethernet/atheros/alx/reg.h
    @@ -38,6 +38,7 @@
     #define ALX_DEV_ID_AR8161				0x1091
     #define ALX_DEV_ID_E2200				0xe091
     #define ALX_DEV_ID_E2400				0xe0a1
    +#define ALX_DEV_ID_E2500				0xe0b1
     #define ALX_DEV_ID_AR8162				0x1090
     #define ALX_DEV_ID_AR8171				0x10A1
     #define ALX_DEV_ID_AR8172				0x10A0
    Lines starting + are added, lines starting - are removed, other lines are unchanged context.

    3 lines.

    E2500 is just a marketing effort to get the previous chip back in the press.

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    Re: Killer Ethernet E2500

    Quote Originally Posted by Valantar View Post
    But as the review says: this needs to happen at the router level as well. Otherwise, this is pointless in many cases.
    Your router not having the Killer QoS policy is the least of your worries, this needs to happen on every device between the Killer NIC and the destination so when the internet has the Killer QoS policy running on it and is prioritising traffic based on Killer's QoS markings then this will be a useful feature (obviously I've assumed that Killer are marking packets and not just prioritising in software). The only thing this is achieving is prioritisation onto the wire which will help the 0.01% of people that want to watch a 4K video whilst playing The Division during a Skype call.

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    Re: Killer Ethernet E2500

    So much wrong with this review...

    The least of your worries is prioritising traffic onto the wire from your NIC. If the switch, router and every intermediate device on the internet between your computer and the destination are not prioritising your priority traffic then it's back to "best effort" the moment you hit that first device and it's subject to latency again, which in most cases is the router connected to your broadband connection.

    Most modern NICs will operate in Duplex meaning they transmit and receive data at the same time. Streaming a 4K video from Youtube to your computer results in most of the traffic flowing from the Youtube streaming servers to your computer and not from your computer to the Youtube streaming servers. This streaming will have little impact on the transmission of traffic from your NIC and will have a greater impact on the CPU of your computer to process the streaming and other applications than the NIC of your computer to simultaneously transmit and receive the data, especially if the NIC is running at 1GB. The Killer app will have little impact on the 4K video being streamed as it's receive traffic and not transmit traffic.

    An understanding of the OSI model, networking, QoS and traffic flows may have helped here unfortunately "Hexus Approved" means some folks who don't know better may rush out and buy this only to find it has no impact other than to dent their wallet.

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    Re: Killer Ethernet E2500

    How about making an affordable 10gbase-T chip. Unlike this, that would actually be Killer.

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    Re: Killer Ethernet E2500

    Hate to post an "I agree", but I do. This is an application at most. Sell it as such and don't tie it to some re-badged hardware.

    I rule out any motherboards with obscure or niche chips running on them. It only causes problems when you want to do something a bit less main-stream one day (piddle about with ESXi, for instance) and find the drivers aren't there. Or heck, even just update to a new version of Windows in 5 years time.

    I'd much rather my niche products come in add-in form. But even if this was in add-in form, or the software was a standalone purchase, I wouldn't buy either. Because as people have said, it offers nothing to most people. It's not like you have to stop your Steam downloads, it does this by default if you're playing games - I tend to leave it running as my pipe is generally fat enough.

    You're far better off investing in your switching/routing gear. And if you're having problems with traffic, then implement QoS at your router to avoid your sibling or whatever from snatching all the bandwidth when you're playing twitcher-shooter v2.0.

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