Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Razer's Project Christine promises a truly modular, easily upgradable, gaming PC

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January 8, 2014

Razer's Project Christine

Razer's Project Christine

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US gaming hardware company Razer has chosen CES 2014 to unveil plans for what it calls "the world's most modular gaming system." Dubbed Project Christine, the desktop gaming PC promises to unlock the upgradability and performance of a high-end gaming PC, to the non-geeks among us.

Many hardcore gamers are also handy with a screwdriver, and so are comfortable sourcing the correct parts and swapping out bits and pieces of their PC rig to keep it current. However, those of us who don't know their soldering iron from their SCSI generally don't venture inside the case, and herein lies the crux of Razer's concept.

Razer has let slip that it will contain a high speed PCI-Express architecture, and factory...

Project Christine promises an easy plug-and-play system – no screwdriver or cables required – that enables users to upgrade and swap out parts on the fly, in any order or combination.

It seems that practically all relevant parts can be changed, including the CPU and GPU, in addition to more standard upgrades such as memory and storage, thanks to their being based in sealed unit modules – albeit of Razer's own proprietary design. Razer also cites the unit's ability to run multiple operating systems.

Naturally, this being early days yet, we've got no word on availability and only a few details on the specs and features, but Razer has let slip that it will be based around a high speed PCI-Express architecture, feature up to quad-SLI graphics, numerous I/O options, and will allow the company to factory overclock components without risk of voiding any warranties.

The firm further revealed that each self-contained Project Christine module will sport liquid cooling and noise cancellation, and an LED touchscreen display offers control and maintenance information. Onboard storage comes in the form of an SSD and a RAID 5 HDD array.

Check out the teaser video below.

Source: Razer

About the Author
Adam Williams Adam scours the globe from his home in North Wales in order to bring the best of innovative architecture and sustainable design to the pages of Gizmag. Most of his spare time is spent dabbling in music, tinkering with old Macintosh computers and trying to keep his even older VW bus on the road.

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7 Comments

It looks expensive (and it probaby is). I'm interested in the interior design layout of such a module as it sports liquid cooling. The compartmentalization and compactness does give it a clean look.

I see the benefits for people who do want liquid cooling for their computer, but are not forced with the at first somewhat daunting situation where they have to do research, pick the water cooling kits or separate components, plan and build it in their set-up themselves.

It is a nice solution, but not for people like me who like to mess around with their computer and add a crazy custom water loop to it that cools like a fridge. Surely, opening up the case for some maintenance cleaning, and part swapping isn't much of a hassle every now and then.

Fretting Freddy the Ferret pressing the Fret
8th January, 2014 @ 12:13 pm PST

This reminds me of that Porsche(I think it was Porsche) designed case that put the layout like this. It did help with cooling and I'm guessing even if this was air cooled it would be over-clockable. Even though I've built my own desktops since the 90's I'd still get this. I think what they need to do, even if they have their own proprietary mother board, is make each piece open up and the innards swappable. Like the graphic card case will hold standard graphic cards.

Not sure that would be possible but it is the only way to succeed. No one will buy every part from Razer.

exodous
8th January, 2014 @ 01:14 pm PST

I had this same idea but for business use back in 1990s. The problem was to get the industry standards to adapt to the system would mean everyone had to change their current systems and backup parts. That's going to be the tough one.

Clinton Wong
8th January, 2014 @ 09:06 pm PST

It's a great idea for a dying market. I suspect it'll only be a handful of us desktop geeks who still like cases like this and don't rely solely on laptops and tablets.

limbodog
9th January, 2014 @ 07:48 am PST

Microsoft and Intel tried to promote such a "cartridge" based PC architecture in the 90's and it never went anywhere.

If the two biggest companies in the PC industry couldn't make a "non-box" PC system acceptable to the market, even with an open standard, it'll never work as a single source proprietary design.

Gregg Eshelman
9th January, 2014 @ 06:49 pm PST

Won't things being farther apart make them slower? That's why cache is super fast, it's in the CPU, then memory is second fast, and second furthest away, then sdd's being the furthest. This makes everything farther apart.

Ranscapture
10th January, 2014 @ 07:51 am PST

This type of design, has many benefits but it really needs to ensure that there is a suitably speedy interconnect between low latency components, a bit like what Inifiniband was meant to deliver to the masses and the datacenters so many years ago.

I think this has great potential, but what I would do is sell it as aftermarket case modding with "simple" water cooling.

So you buy your PSU and put it in a PSU hot dock that then hot plugs into the case /stand and chassis.

You buy your motherboard of specific size, put it in its hot dock case and plug in the riser cards that go to the hot swap backplane, and put it in the motherboard hotswap case.

Same for your single, double or triple GPU cards.

Each hot swap dock has a connection for power, for data and for cooling in

Notcha
13th January, 2014 @ 08:08 am PST
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