Visiontek intros GPU/NIC hybrid, but why should gamers bother?

By on December 1, 2010, 6:31 PM
Visiontek and Bigfoot have developed a PCI Express x16 expansion board that features both a GPU and NIC, which is billed as the "world's first online gaming upgrade card." The single-slot card combines a Radeon HD 5770 with Bigfoot's Killer E2100 network controller and is said to be the only PCIe expansion device that marries high-quality graphics with low-latency networking.

In case you're unfamiliar, the Killer E2100 is sold as a standalone NIC for about $85. It's said to reduce latency and boost general gaming performance over standard onboard network controllers, but reviews tend to show the improvement is miniscule -- and that's okay. We're not about to knock folks for buying a premium network card. We love luxury hardware as much as the next nerd.


However, we have to question why the companies decided to strap a 'luxury' NIC to a year-old mainstream graphics card instead of something like the upcoming HD 6900 series. If someone's buying an HD 5770, we assume they want a decent value, and the Killer HD 5770 e-tails for around $230. That's in the ballpark of the new HD 6870, which is a more logical purchase in our opinion.

We like the idea of saving an expansion slot, but why pair a quickly evolving technology with one that hasn't changed much since inception? You'll want to replace the Radeon HD 5770 long before the E2100 is obsolete, which means you'll have to buy another hybrid card or run the Killer HD 5770 beside your new GPU anyway. So, why not just buy the standalone E2100 outright?




User Comments: 15

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KG363 KG363 said:

I think it's a bad idea, especially with a year old mainstream card. lol

You're definitely right

Ranger12 Ranger12 said:

I'm guessing maybe they had leftover 5770's and decided they would test and see if there's a market for cards like this. Would def be cheaper than buying new 6870's. Idk that's as much sense as I can make out of it and even that doesn't make complete sense. lol

Benny26 Benny26, TechSpot Paladin, said:

She's lookin' fine to me...Yep, i wouldn't mind a stroke of that circuit board. XD

'The single-slot card'...It's only single-slot if you don't try to put anything next to it, because as we can clearly see it takes up the same room as a double...So in effect, although it only needs one slot, most motherboards (most i've seen) have slots close together, so it might as well take up 2 slots because when it's in, nothing can go in that other slot it's sat next to...

Jeez, i'm a moaner sometimes

DokkRokken said:

Good concept and idea for product differentiation, but stupidly bad pricing and product pairing. I can't believe this was even approved for production.

The NIC should have been attached to a premium product like the GTX 480 or 5870 because people shopping within that range are more likely to justify the extra amount and nifty feature, whereas a midrange card buyer would deem the NIC totally superfluous.

Cueto_99 said:

The first qustion that came to my mind after reading the article was: "which market are they targeting?" second one... "was any research done before releasing this??" I would be surprised if they sell more than maybe a thousand units...

TitoBXNY TitoBXNY said:

I had the Killer NIC and it was the worst $150 I ever spent on my PC. Total snake oil, did absolutely nothing for me. Why would you waste money on an aging video card lubricated in snake oil.

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Cueto_99 said:

The first qustion that came to my mind after reading the article was: "which market are they targeting?" second one... "was any research done before releasing this??" I would be surprised if they sell more than maybe a thousand units...

"MOM! I wanted a 6780 not a 5770, you totally ruined Christmas for me, I hate you!"

"I'm sorry honey, the man at the store said this is a great gift for someone who likes games."

Emin3nce said:

Store issues a refund, kid gets the real graphics card he wanted and never bothers with the super duper NIC.

True story bro.

jonelsorel said:

Someone at top of that firm is obviously taking decisions while asleep.

jetkami said:

"MOM! I wanted a 6780 not a 5770, you totally ruined Christmas for me, I hate you!"

"I'm sorry honey, the man at the store said this is a great gift for someone who likes games."

lol...hahahahahah

Lokalaskurar Lokalaskurar said:

Really now, people considering the E2100 would probably also consider a 6800-series card... Maybe this 5770-project was a bit overdue?

edison5do said:

So, why not just buy the standalone E2100 outright?

Johny47 said:

I think it's a nice idea but hey should go 'back to the drawing board' and redesign it for the 69.. series cards or the GTX 5 series =/

fpsgamerJR62 said:

Why would I need a separate NIC ? Isn't the one built into the motherboard good enough ? For the money, they might as well strapped a second 5770 GPU to the PCB.

vangrat said:

So...confused...where do I plug the phone in at??!?!

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