The Latest in Hardcore System Mods: Super NICs

, it’s now just a place to plug-in a cable. Like WinModems of the ’90s, your NIC is just an interface, while your OS and CPU do all the real work of getting your porn downloaded. The Killer takes those pesky network-related tasks from your computer and handles them itself, improving system performance.

The main sell, however, is the built-in features designed specifically for gamers. For people who play a ton of online games, the bottleneck in their gaming experience (which translates to their high-score) is their connection to other gamers. They’ll shell out the extra $20 a month for that additional 100kps on their DSL. But if your system is lagging due to its own resources, a fast connection is wasted bandwidth. The Killer has “LLR” (Latency and Lag Reduction) to improve those oh-so-important ping times.

In addition, it runs a micro version of Linux, so really it’s a PC within your PC. It could theoretically be hacked modded to do all sorts of stuff that currently run “background” without affecting your system’s performance. BitTorrent and such comes to mind.

Before rushing out to buy one, however, note that it’s still new, and these claims have been lab-tested, but real-world milage may vary. Until it’s got some real street-time, you may want to just lust over it’s Mortal Kombat-like chrome K.

Killer NIC Hands On Testing Part 1 [IGN]