Is The Bigfoot Networks Killer NIC Vaporware?

I'm sure you've heard about it. I'm sure that you have seen the software rendered pictures. And I'm pretty sure you've seen people saying that the Killer NIC by Bigfoot Networks is nothing more than vaporware. I hate to admit it, but just weeks before their official launch all that we have seen floating around the web is this picture. Bigfoot Networks has been around since October 2004 and hasn't produced much of anything yet, so I can understand the doubt around the product. Just recently Bigfoot Networks has released a whitepaper and some performance numbers in a sneak peak document found on their website. Bigfoot Networks is still planning to launch their retail boxed Killer NIC cards in 1 to 2 weeks, but has yet to release any images of their card other than this render. Does that throw up the red flag?

Bigfoot Networks Killer NIC

The above image looks pretty cool, but we all know that it isn't a 'real' network interface card!  We contacted our friends down at Bigfoot Networks and told them they really needed to publish a real picture of the card to show that it's real.  They informed Legit Reviews that the card is indeed real, but are still working on getting the intricately designed heat sinks shipped in to be installed for the retail cards.  After a little begging we talked Bigfoot Networks into sending over some pictures of the card without the heat spreader installed.  Behold the internets first real pictures of the Killer NIC!

Bigfoot Networks Killer NIC

The above image shows three revisions of the Killer NIC and the one on the far left is the final layout from our understanding.  The heat sink is prototype and it should be noted that this is not the final design.  Since the above image was of poor quality and done in bad lighting I edited it the best I could and came up with this. 

Bigfoot Networks Killer NIC

As you can see the prototype doesn't look as good as the render, but hey it's the real deal. The heat sink on the above image is not the final design and it really is massive. I'm left wondering why the 400MHz Network Processor Unit (NPU) needs a large passive heat sink like this, but I'm sure it's all marketing.  Looking at the heat sink it looks rather large and thick which means it's there for looks and not so much cooling. With that said and done we don't know if the card is real or if it even works, but I would like to personally thank Bigfoot Networks for sending these images to Legit Reviews for an exclusive first look at the real Killer NIC and not the digital render. 

If you'd like to take a look at the man behind the company, CEO Harlan Beverly, then head on to page two.

Bigfoot Networks CEO: Harlan Beverly

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Harlan Beverly is the man behind the Killer NIC and the founder of Bigfoot Networks, Inc. Some of Bigfoot Networks' early designs were based on technology of Harlan's own design that would help eliminate the lag that video game players experience when they play games online. Bigfoot Networks has won numerous awards for its business plan, including a $100,000 top price in the University of Texas MOOT Corp. competition. Other awards include $5,000 for placing 3rd out of over 80 teams in Fortune Small Business Magazine business plan competition, and placing second in the San Diego State University Venture Challenge.

Image Description

Harlan honed his business and technical skills while working at Intel, where he filed over 19 patents in the field of Network Acceleration. As an Architect at Intel, Harlan was responsible for the complete solution for corporate server networking products. After leaving Intel, Harlan joined a start-up called Britestream Networks where he helped develop the first 100% CPU off-load security solution that combines SSL processing with TCP/IP processing on the same chip. Harlan received his MBA from the University of Texas in 2004, and his B.S.E.E from Ohio Northern University in 1999. Lag is a very personal and real problem to Harlan, because he and his wife met while playing the online computer game Ultima Online. Legit Reviews found out that he actually married her virtually in UO before he married her in real life. When not working or playing with his two children you are likely to find Harlan at his ranch tending to his horses, playing online games, or tinkering with his multimedia room.

It seems that Harlan Beverly is very real, checks out, and now we even have real pictures of his cards. I mean this guy is a hard core gamer!  He met and married his online wife for crying out loud! Let's hope that this lag eliminator doesn't end up like the Cisco/Valve deal back in 1999/2000 and their lag ending solution called Powerplay.  Powerplay was often talked about, but silently abandoned years ago.

If you are ready to get your hands onto the Killer NIC you can Pre-Order yours today for $279.99 or you can wait for Legit Reviews to publish our review of the card later this month when we get real product in our hands and complete real world testing.  

In the mean time feel free to stop in our forums and talk about the Killer NIC and voice your thoughts on it.  Is it vaporware?  Too good to be true?  Why the big heat spreader? Which are you interested in the Killer NIC or AGEIA's PhysX PPU for that single open PCI slot?