Razer envisions plug 'n play PC upgrades with Project Christine

One of the coolest things we've seen at CES this year was Razer's "Project Christine." Razer wants to make a modular gaming PC, one that fully embodies the idea of plug 'n play.

4
One of the coolest things we've seen at CES this year was Razer's "Project Christine." It's not a product, but rather a concept. Razer wants to make a modular gaming PC, one that fully embodies the idea of plug 'n play. The goal of Project Christine is to create an ecosystem where it would be theoretically possible for customers to "never buy another PC, or gaming system, again," according to Razer CEO Min-Liang Tan. At the heart of Project Christine are modules that look akin to external USB drives. Inside these modules can be a CPU, GPU, RAM, or storage and they'll snap into a base via a proprietary PCI-Express connector. Upgrades to the computer will be as simple as simply plugging a new module in, whether it be an extra GPU or hard drive, for example. It's a fascinating idea, one that even looks innovative thanks to how the modules protrude out of the skinny base that houses the PC's motherboard. Razer promises that each module can also feature active liquid cooling and noise cancellation, as well. Each module will also feature a LED touchscreen display, which can give further information about the status of each component. The ease of use is certainly attractive, however the fact that Project Christine is entirely owned by Razer means that--if the project turns into a real retail release--components will have to come from Razer. A spokesperson told us that there is a possibility of opening up licensing for third-party vendors, but for now, it's restricted to Razer's proprietary ecosystem. Have a look at their vision:

Click for more screenshots

From The Chatty
  • reply
    January 7, 2014 10:10 PM

    Andrew Yoon posted a new article, Razer envisions plug 'n play PC upgrades with Project Christine.

    One of the coolest things we've seen at CES this year was Razer's "Project Christine." Razer wants to make a modular gaming PC, one that fully embodies the idea of plug 'n play.

    • reply
      January 7, 2014 10:25 PM

      That looks neat, but it's gonna be super expensive.

      • reply
        January 8, 2014 9:04 AM

        This always seems to be Razer's problem. It looks neat and it has some cool new ideas, but it costs twice as much as something comparable.

        • reply
          January 8, 2014 11:10 AM

          I think Razer as a company has lost its way, and is desperately searching for a disruptive niche, but has been stumbling on each attempt. The Razer Blade flopped, cloud-based settings started an always-on controversy, etc. And in the meantime, their core competency of mice and input devices has been stagnant, and hasn't stood above the competition. They barely do ambidextrous mice anymore; Steelseries does that better with the Sensei (Windows 8 driver issues excluded).

    • reply
      January 7, 2014 11:23 PM

      This looks like a nifty idea... if you're completely ignorant to how hardware evolves. If it's not a major industry wide push, or created by actually important companies (like Intel) this will be crap. Horribly limited options, excessive cost, there WILL be limits to it's upgrade capabilities, and Razor would probably drop the entire program when it flops.

      And PCs are already modular! Two plugs is more complicated than an entire custom case matched housing for a hard drive? And the usefulness of screens on everything is almost completely masturbatory.

      Also add on top that the hardware industry is pushing laptops and tablets. They don't want you to upgrade. They want you to throw it away and buy a new one. Some lovely non-replaceable batteries and every device has an almost guaranteed limited life span.

      Pretty, but stupid.

    • reply
      January 8, 2014 1:00 AM

      This is a nice concept, but imo goes against the general flexibility and choice you have with a PC. Why should I lock myself in to this "walled garden" system from Razor, if I can already swap out components to my liking? Sure - not all MBs are compatible with every gen of CPUs - but the rest is pretty modular already.

    • reply
      January 8, 2014 7:26 AM

      via a proprietary PCI-Express connector

      This right here is why this is a terrible idea.
      1) It's proprietary. Enough said.
      2) The interconnection is PCI-E based, which means it'll have to use an existing spec and therefore be forever limited to that in terms of lanes and speed. Or, another way to put it, after a couple of tick-tocks from Nvidia/AMD on the graphics card front, your PCI-E bridge/backplane of the system will quickly become a major bottleneck. This might even be possible to reach sooner if every single component has to pass through the same back bone of the system to talk with the other components.
      3) Various forms of this have been attempted in the past. They all end up being too limited just as others have said.

    • reply
      January 8, 2014 7:46 AM

      Dead in the water. They would control everything, it would require special hardware, your resale market for parts is limited, etc, etc.

    • reply
      January 8, 2014 7:57 AM

      Christine? As in, the car from Stephen King's eponymous novel about a sentient, murderous machine that becomes the object of a young man's obsession?

      #videogames #killsimulator #foxnews

Hello, Meet Lola