This year Computex is full of launches, and the land of network controllers is no exception. Rivet Networks, who makes the Killer line of enhanced NICs, is updating its popular E2500 design with the E2600, which is initially going to be found on a series of MSI notebooks as well as moving out into motherboard designs and system designs from popular OEMs. The new design enhances the Killer Intelligence Engine inside the controller, providing a more detailed understanding of the traffic passing through.

The Intelligence Engine inside the Rivet Network products is actually rather neat (personal opinion). Through a variety of hardware algorithms, it can determine what type of traffic is going through the chip without actually looking at the data: VOIP, gaming, video download, file download, file upload, streaming, torrents, and many other besides. Rivet Networks can also parse out to a large degree which service is being used (Netflix vs Youtube for example), all without actually looking at the data being transferred, but at the patterns of data transfer. By analysing the data flow, it can prioritise packets that are latency sensitive, such as games or voice, over non-latency sensitive data, such as downloads. In can do this under the hood without any additional CPU load or monitoring services, or users can override the settings in software. The new Killer E2600 enables the company to improve its update roadmap going into the future by expanding its capabilities.

New features in the Killer stack also include network performance optimization for end-users. The updated tool to help users adjust the hardware based network prioritization also includes an optimization tool that can analyse the quality of the network and the system and provide suggestions (such as closing programs, disabling services, software prioritization adjustment) that might assist in improved frame rates and a better gaming user experience. This tool is included in the software for the Rivet Wi-Fi 6 solution also.

Laptops with the E2600 are being demonstrated at Computex, and we expect to see it migrate into desktops over the course of 2019.

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  • jeremyshaw - Thursday, May 30, 2019 - link

    Nice, I saw the E2600 earlier this week and couldn't find any information on it (outside of driver references). Any word on new design wins for the E3000 (2.5Gbps)? It seems to be more interesting to me. Reply
  • AdditionalPylons - Thursday, May 30, 2019 - link

    I would also very much like to hear if there are any news on 2.5/5/10 Gbps NICs (any manufacturer). Reply
  • Dahak - Friday, May 31, 2019 - link

    Realtek has a 2.5g chip. Not sure how new its is. Noticed it on some of the announced x570 boards Reply
  • FreckledTrout - Thursday, May 30, 2019 - link

    So Ian does this really help a laptop or desktop user when playing games? I mean if the Intelligence Engine is prioritizing workloads like an advanced QoS don't you need more than just one or two workloads from a laptop or desktop for it to matter? Maybe it's just me but I don't see this tech being very useful outside of a router. Reply
  • Reflex - Thursday, May 30, 2019 - link

    No. They do not help games. It's just marketing and software that is often problematic. Reply
  • npz - Thursday, May 30, 2019 - link

    I agree that the Intelligence Engine feature sounds much more suited for a router than the client PC. For a gaming scenario the only thing I can think of is gaming + VOIP coop + live streaming the session.

    But in this scenario, all are of mostly equal importance.. with maybe the gameplay + VOIP as tied for first, and the live stream as second. By how much I don't know. Maybe it would help or maybe not much compared to plain round robin prioritization
    Reply
  • Ian Cutress - Friday, May 31, 2019 - link

    Rivet is working with Netgear and have some products together. It helps with games by virtue of deprioritizing updates, but also the optimization tool might help streamline some system elements that like to take Cpu time or networking away from the game.

    Ignore anyone that says it is marketing software fluff. It's a real complex hardware engine that does a lot of the work. The benefits are hard to quantify directly, and a lot of people don't like that, but indirect benefits are numerous. I'm waiting for a Killer 10G nic and I'll probably transfer over.
    Reply
  • Rumpelstiltstein - Friday, May 31, 2019 - link

    I think the optimization tool sounds interesting, but that's only because I don't know enough about Windows' network settings to do it myself. As far as prioritizing web traffic, it's really quite simple. If you don't have enough bandwidth, then don't be watching 4k video while gaming. If you want to be selfish, go buy a "gaming" router and turn it on game mode so nobody else can watch 4k video while you game. However, they will interrupt you to tell you the internet sucks. Reply
  • qlum - Friday, May 31, 2019 - link

    All I can say about gaming performance is that the intel nic never has any issues and the killer one gives me random disconnects. Granted I never changed anything in software. Still on a back then 100mbit fiber connection this should not happen. Reply
  • Rumpelstiltstein - Friday, May 31, 2019 - link

    Killer doesn't design the hardware themselves anymore, and last I heard they were using Intel NICs. Reply

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