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Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Netgear Nighthawk S8000 Switch eliminate the last few milliseconds of latency for gamers

Networking gets an unfair wrap amongst gaming enthusiasts. The workhorse of any gaming rig, the humble hardware used to connect us to billions of gamers around the globe typically spends its existence hidden away behind the living room PC, or buried in some other unloved corner of the house.

Netgear, long-term kings of connectivity have unleashed their Nighthawk range of products to an unsuspecting consumer market, redefining power, innovation, simplicity and bad-ass aesthetics. Working with the elite of the eSports community, Netgear have been able to deliver a new generation of networking hardware that delivers the power needed to deliver the winning edge.

The same business grade technology used to keep the country’s largest businesses running smoothly is used in the range of Nighthawk products. We’re talking series power, designed for ultimate reliability and now available in consumer gaming products.

The Nighthawk S8000 switch may feature business grade hardware, but make no mistake, the user experience is designed to strip away the complexity and deliver fuss free gaming with remarkably little stress. Netgear know that gaming should be fun, and with this in mind the dark night of networking features one of the simplest user interfaces of any networking product, pre-configured out of the box to give priority to gaming use.

Whilst there are a host of advanced options allowing users to combine port bandwidth (up to 4 ports together) to create a really fat data pipe, prioritise data to a NAS drive, or simply limit the bandwidth that other ports can access, the Nighthawk S8000 in its simplest form is the perfect plug-and-play router, already optimised for the most demanding of gaming uses.

Netgear believe that it’s time to liberate the network from the confines of the broom cupboard or from being sandwiched behind the desk of a gaming room. Network switches are typically hidden away with good reason, they frankly look awful and no one wants blinking light and faceless black boxes to serve as a centrepiece. It’s a shame, as very often, hiding the hardware is hard work, causing major headaches and leading to a spaghetti junction of cables that’s as ugly as it is dangerous.

The Nighthawk S8000 switch is a disruptive product, standing apart in a sea on networking mediocrity. Designed to sit proudly in the gamers rig, the S8000 impresses with stealth bomber aesthetics, serving as a visual deterrent to all those who dare question its power, and what power it wields! Gone are the flaky connections and unreliable drop out associated with lesser hardware, the S8000 means business, stuffed to the gills with state-of-the-art tech and almost over powered for domestic use. Gamers who play to win can be safe in the knowledge that their connection will remain rock solid at all times and never let them down during even the most demanding of usage periods.

The Nighthawk S8000 series isn’t content with reliable power however, it comes with teeth to bare and armed with a few tricks up its sleeves. The informatively titled ‘Cylon’ mode can be accessed through the simple menu interface, so in the heat of a LAN party with your buddies, the S8000 can become quite the hardware centrepiece!

Road tested for real world performance, there is no clearer demonstration of power than using the Nighthawk S8000 series in a real world professional gaming environment.

In May 2017, gaming team Molotovs and Marshmallows (MnM Gaming), became the first non-professional British eSports team to ‘bootcamp’ prior to a major League of Legends tournament (the Summer Challenger Series). The networking hardware they chose? Well it was the Nighthawk S8000 of course.

For the uninitiated, ‘Bootcamping’, (common in Europe), is the practice of getting together in a gaming centre or house with your team-mates, and hunkering down for a month of solid training. We’re talking 10-12 hours per day of competitive gaming, often training with other top-teams to hone individual skills, develop strategies, build your play-books, and ultimately testing hardware to its absolute limits of performance

It’s a stone-cold fact that many of our overseas competitors are blessed with significantly faster internet than is available to large swathes of the UK. This makes training easier obviously, and although the situation is undoubtedly improving, we’re still well behind the competition.

It’s no accident that the team chose to pitch up in Leicester – close to the ESL studios, the home of British eSports. Why did MnM chose Leicester? Well, the internet bandwidth available in the region was 430mbps, over 4 times the national average!

This is where hardware comes in. Netgear supplied the network infrastructure in the form of the Nighthawk S8000 switch and Nighhawk X10 Router. The benefits of running the fast-possible switch with the simplest configuration to ensure that the games being played have the highest possible bandwidth, zero lag and make those crucial milliseconds of difference can make the difference between victory and defeat, and when there’s so much at stake nothing can be left to chance.

It may seem like overkill – all to eliminate the last few milliseconds of latency that can destroy a gaming team’s progress – but after all – it’s one thing to lose on a level playing field – much harder to know that victory was cruelly snatched away due to inferior hardware.

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