Frequently Asked Questions about Intel® Killer™ Control Center


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What is the Intel Killer Control Center? What does the Intel Killer Control Center do?

The Intel Killer Control Center is the program that examines your applications and sets priority so that your most speed-critical applications get first access to your bandwidth. Without it, every application that uses your Internet connection gets equal treatment, which can cause noticeably slower speeds. For example, say you are playing a data-intensive game, also streaming a YouTube video, and downloading a large file. Without the Intel Killer Control Center, your game might have issues as it has to share its bandwidth equally. With the Intel Killer Control Center, the game will be given all the bandwidth it wants, while the video is slowed (which means it’ll likely buffer a bit more to start, and then work correctly), and your download is the lowest priority.

If you are watching a streaming video but not gaming, priority will be given to that streaming video, which will result in noticeably smoother playback and less buffering

How does the Intel Killer Control Center work?

The Intel Killer Control Center takes each data packet and assigns it a priority. The higher the priority (with 1 being the highest), the sooner that specific data packet exits your machine. This prioritization results in the response returning more quickly, as well. Since most Internet applications and services rely not on large transfers, but many small transfers, the overall effect of this packet ordering is noticeably improved latency, which can enhance gaming, video streaming, and web browsing

Can this help even if my connection is more than fast enough for my needs?

Yes. Your ISP-provided Internet speed, and results from online speed tests, are only an indication of how quickly small packets of data can be transferred. These values are useful for comparison, and for knowing if your connection is healthy but, no matter how fast your Internet connection, your network adapter, networking equipment, and modem all still send and receive data in streams. Ordering the packets within that stream can result in significantly faster speeds from applications and services that can benefit from lower latency.

Why should I set speed limits in the Intel Killer Control Center? Isn’t it better to just let my computer use as much bandwidth as it can?

The Intel Killer Control Center uses the speed limits set in the Settings menu to determine if a low priority application or service needs to be slowed to minimize latency for high priority applications or services. Although it can also adjust dynamically based on current conditions, the speed limit setting gives it a baseline from which to gauge whether it needs to make adjustments. For instance, if you have your speed limits set to 500 Mbps, and you have a Steam download using that full 500 Mbps, and you load up another game to play, the Intel Killer Control Center will slightly throttle the Steam download to make sure that the data packets for the game have plenty of bandwidth available to reduce latency as much as possible. This effect is somewhat dependent on your ISP, as well, as some ISPs will slow the responsiveness of your connection if you are downloading a large amount of data. In that case, you can use the Killer Control Center to tweak the download speed of the big file to compensate. The sliders in the Intel Killer Control Center’s Apps menu are based on percentages of the limits that you set.

My router already has a QoS (Quality of Service) system that works well. Can I benefit from the Intel Killer Control Center while using my router’s QoS?

Yes. The Intel Killer Control Center may seem to be a client-side QoS application and, if needed, it can serve that purpose for the machine on which it is installed, but the real power comes from the ordering of the data packets using information gathered on your computer. The Killer Control Center can see which websites and applications are connecting and prioritize them accordingly. Internet Router and modem QoS systems do not have this information, and cannot prioritize packets with the same level of accuracy. Router and modem QoS systems can only prioritize based on IP or port number, and generally, need to be individually tailored to work correctly. The Intel Killer Control Center does all of this automatically, and with far more accuracy.

If you do near full usage of your available bandwidth, the Killer Control Center will throttle lower priority applications and services first. You can also exert granular control over your computer’s data streams on-the-fly, as opposed to using only router QoS, which require individual rules to be established for each application, service, or port. This feature can be incredibly convenient. For instance, if you initiate a large update to a game, but don’t want to slow the network down for everyone else, you can move the slider in the Intel Killer Control Center from maximum to 80% or so, completely removing any impact of the download on everyone else’s bandwidth. As opposed to using only router-based QoS, this can be done without the need to log in to your router’s user interface, make a specific rule, define it, and restart your router.

The Intel Killer Control Center’s prioritization is also superior to router-based QoS in that router-based QoS usually doesn’t throttle lower priority applications or services until you hit your bandwidth limit. Even then, there is often some time before the adjustments are made, and if your bandwidth isn’t as high as usual because, for instance, your connection to your ISP is not quite as good as it was when you last tested, router-based QoS is typically rendered useless. The Intel Killer Control Center measures bandwidth dynamically, in addition to the limits you set in the settings page.

Will the Intel Killer Networking adapter work without the Control Center, running only the .INF version of the drivers or a driver-only package?

Yes, but you are missing out on your adapter’s best features!

You can find the latest Intel Killer Control Center, with the latest drivers, here for all currently supported Intel Killer Wireless and Ethernet adapters with current versions of Windows® 10 (1803+).

If you experience any issues installing the Intel Killer Control Center, we suggest clean installing the latest version.

If you have a question that not listed here? If so, reach out to us using the Contact support link in the blue banner below.

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