Tuesday, January 7th 2014

Razer Unveils Project Christine, the World's Most Modular PC Concept Design

Razer, the world leader in entertainment devices and software, today announced a concept of what promises to be the world's most modular gaming system, Project Christine.

The PC has traditionally been one of the most open platforms in all of technology. However, given the technical complexities of PC hardware, only the most hardcore enthusiasts have been able to take advantage of this openness to build, customize and continuously upgrade their PC desktop systems. The tremendous promise of the PC has remained underexploited by the vast majority of general consumers for more than 30 years, largely due to the convoluted hardware -- knowing what does what, what works with what, and how to connect the pieces.

Project Christine is a revolutionary new concept design that will change the way users view PCs. It will allow any user to build and customize his or her PC in any configuration without any prior technical knowledge. Further, as new upgrades come to the market, the same PC can be easily and quickly upgraded without additional technical assistance and without the fear of incompatibility or obsolescence.

Project Christine's modular design allows users to easily build their PCs by allowing them to select and install modules on-the-fly, whether it's a CPU, GPU, or memory and storage configuration. The PCI-Express architecture of Project Christine automatically syncs components. Need more graphics processing power or storage? Easy -- a user can slot-in additional graphics modules and add more storage by either swapping-out the existing storage drives or adding more modules. Equally exciting, Project Christine is able to run multiple operating systems that the user may require.

The modularity of Project Christine make it perpetually customizable, offering plug-and-play upgradability as new and improved technology evolves, ostensibly eliminating the need to replace entire systems. Modules connected to the PCI-Express backbone can be added in any order or combination, featuring up to quad-SLI graphics, multiple SSD and RAID storage components, I/O and even power supplies, ensuring maximum flexibility.

The cable-less design of each sealed module is entirely self-contained and features active liquid cooling and noise cancelation, which allows Razer to factory overclock components without voiding warranties, safely and quietly. The system also features a touch-screen LED display that indicates control and maintenance information.

"Project Christine is a new concept design that will revolutionize the way users view the traditional PC. This is the first gaming system that is able to keep pace with technology and could allow consumers to never buy another PC, or gaming system, again," says Min-Liang Tan, Razer co-founder, CEO and creative director. "We have a history of bringing incredibly innovative concept systems to market and it's fair to say that Project Christine is a very exciting new prospect for future development."

For more information, check out www.razerzone.com/christine.

Product features:
  • Fully modular design for perpetual, cable-less customization
  • PCI-Express architecture
  • Open operating system platform
  • Factory overclocked components
  • Self-contained modules with active liquid cooling and noise cancelation
  • Quad SLI capable
  • SSD + RAID 5 HDD Array
  • LED touchscreen control display
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52 Comments on Razer Unveils Project Christine, the World's Most Modular PC Concept Design

#1
15th Warlock
Cool concept, too bad, as others mentioned, knowing razer, they'll charge pretty penny for it, I can see less technically inclined people falling for this concept, and with all the talk of prebuilt Steam machines, it doesn't surprise in the least to see Razer try to take advantage of the fact the the PC will become a more mainstream product.

Yes ladies and gentlemen, the hardware enthusiast as a race.. we are endangered species...
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#2
james888
Speaking of steam box, why doesn't razer market as such?
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#4
Breit
Actually I don't see how this will work. I mean it's a nice concept with all the modules and build-in liquid cooling and stuff. But for keeping this thing modular, it seems that all the modules are connected in parallel in the cooling loop. This is just bad for flow and can't give any good cooling performance at all, at least if there isn't a separate pump in every module, which I doubt. Maybe they got clever valves to reroute the flow if a new module is inserted? To be honest, I also doubt that. The connectors on the Gizmodo pictures just look like standard Koolance quick connectors:




Maybe you have to place a dummy module on every unoccupied slot to maintain a serial loop layout? Then there is another thing I'd like to know: Where is the radiator? The heat have to be dissipated somewhere and with possible multi GPU's there is a lots of heat to be dissipated and to be 'whisper quiet' you need lots of radiator space for that!

As I said: cool concept, but I doubt this will work in this state any time soon.
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#5
Wittermark
by: HisDivineOrder
I expect more outrageous pricing from Razer.
Razer pricing isn't THAT outrageous, I don't know why people get this idea about them.

I mean, just look at their products, The Goliathus mouse pad, a pretty good mousepad --priced around the same as other enthusiast mouse pads from steelseries or corsair etc. ok, then lets see, the Razer Deathadder? --very popular mouse among gamers, and comfortable too, fairly priced, about the same as other gaming mice from Logitech/Steelseries/Roccat/Corsair etc., their mechanical keyboard then? How about the Blackwidow? well, its priced on par as other mechanical keyboards of the same league such as Ducky/Deck/Das etc. alright, how about their the Razer Blade? too explensive? well, not really, its about the same price as a MacBook, or Dell/Alienware, Asus Zen series, so I'm not seeing what is the big deal here? I mean.. we have to compare apples to apples right?
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#6
natr0n
Overheating parts will end this disaster this before it starts.
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#7
wickedcricket
by: xavier1123
dont forget the head! :p
and all of them broken after 3 months.
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#8
Fourstaff
by: Breit
The connectors on the Gizmodo pictures just look like standard Koolance quick connectors:

Maybe you have to place a dummy module on every unoccupied slot to maintain a serial loop layout? Then there is another thing I'd like to know: Where is the radiator? The heat have to be dissipated somewhere and with possible multi GPU's there is a lots of heat to be dissipated and to be 'whisper quiet' you need lots of radiator space for that!
Quick release connectors will not leak, so if its arranged in parallel that's two of your questions solved. As for heat, all they need to do is to use sub par laptop chips :roll:
Posted on Reply
#9
Breit
by: Fourstaff
Quick release connectors will not leak, so if its arranged in parallel that's two of your questions solved. As for heat, all they need to do is to use sub par laptop chips :roll:
I guess spending like 10+ grand (supposed price range for that system) is adequate for laptop performance... I mean at least its 'dead silent'! :cool:

Sure the quick connectors will not leak, but 1 or 2 drops of oil (in that case) will be spilled. I only could imagine how stained and messy the once beautiful surface will look like after a few module exchanges...o_O
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#10
Solidstate89
by: November
Well, it seems to be past the concept stage, as they have a physical prototype at CES (I assume) as shown on Gizmodo.

http://gizmodo.com/razers-modular-desktop-makes-building-a-pc-like-playin-1496479940/@Fahey

Most intriguing and definitely most expensive point is that the design is completely mineral oil cooled configuration. So it basically is dead silent.

For those of you who say that PCs are modular enough, the way I see it is its a "plug and play" approach, which I for one am impressed by. In recent years, air cooling has become somewhat inadequate to cool GPUs or OCed CPUs. Hence the return of watercooling in the last few years, but Razer, did something new for once, each module has inlet and outlet ports for mineral oil, which plug into the chassis, so other than making computer building beyond idiot-proof now, they found away to bring in a sense "liquid cooling" to the masses with their pre-built oil immersed modules.
I'm unimpressed with using mineral oil for cooling. That means it's basically required for you to, at some point, drain out the mineral oil and clean everything off before replacing it with fresh mineral oil. That stuff doesn't last forever.
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#11
micropage7
nice concept and hard to be a reality since too many aspect, creating new standard, the hardware itself, the driver, software, connectivity, bandwidth etc
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#12
arterius2
by: micropage7
nice concept and hard to be a reality since too many aspect, creating new standard, the hardware itself, the driver, software, connectivity, bandwidth etc
I think you might have confused this product with something that you grab off a store shelf. I doubt this project was designed to generate any significant profit anyways(it does generate some PR which is exactly what Razer is aiming for), hence why its still called a "Project" usually meant to be something for fun or experimental. I can see them selling these in limited quantities, obviously at an astronomical price, but like everything, someone will flock to these like flies to shit, myself included.
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#13
Sasqui
by: BorisDG
In the center where the things are getting connected. Anyway ... as usual great on pictures, but not as good IRL. Typical for Razer /yes, I have a lot of stuff, but .../. :) They just should continue making peripheral devices and not messing in things like this.
So they're inventing and building a new form factor called RazerTX?
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#14
Blín D'ñero
Typical over-valuating themselves: "the world leader" is supicious enough.
But then: "...given the technical complexities of PC hardware, only the most hardcore enthusiasts have been able to take advantage of this openness to build, customize and continuously upgrade their PC desktop systems."
Nonsense. Standardisation works pretty well. Generally, even noobs can build entire PC's successfully.

That's enough crap. No need to read the rest of the article.
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#15
micropage7
by: arterius2
I think you might have confused this product with something that you grab off a store shelf. I doubt this project was designed to generate any significant profit anyways(it does generate some PR which is exactly what Razer is aiming for), hence why its still called a "Project" usually meant to be something for fun or experimental. I can see them selling these in limited quantities, obviously at an astronomical price, but like everything, someone will flock to these like flies to shit, myself included.
yeah, its a concept but i just feel like its too far far away, maybe thats why it called concept
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#16
Random Murderer
The Anti-Midas
by: 15th Warlock
Yes ladies and gentlemen, the hardware enthusiast as a race.. we are endangered species...
Far from it. As long as component manufacturers keep offering individual components to consumers, the hardware enthusiast race will never die.
Besides, think of how much money companies like AMD, Intel, Nvidia, Asus, ASRock, MSI, etc. would lose if they stopped offering their components to consumers. It's because of us that building PCs from scratch has become a multi-billion dollar industry in the last 20 years or so. It would be foolish for the industry to completely cut out their largest, most profitable consumer base.
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#17
xenocide
by: Random Murderer
Far from it. As long as component manufacturers keep offering individual components to consumers, the hardware enthusiast race will never die.
Besides, think of how much money companies like AMD, Intel, Nvidia, Asus, ASRock, MSI, etc. would lose if they stopped offering their components to consumers. It's because of us that building PCs from scratch has become a multi-billion dollar industry in the last 20 years or so. It would be foolish for the industry to completely cut out their largest, most profitable consumer base.
Unless I'm mistaken I believe companies like Intel and AMD make the most money off of workstations and servers as well as prebuilt machines. Enthusiasts hardly drive the market...
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#18
Random Murderer
The Anti-Midas
by: xenocide
Unless I'm mistaken I believe companies like Intel and AMD make the most money off of workstations and servers as well as prebuilt machines. Enthusiasts hardly drive the market...
It's really the manufacturers of pre-built systems like Dell and HP that provides them with the most profit, as they buy hundreds to thousands of chips at a time.
However, system builders, tinkerers, and enthusiasts do make up a fair bit of their revenues.
That point aside, I think you get what I'm driving at. Cut the system builders and enthusiasts out of the picture, and the entire industry will feel the backlash.
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#19
Fx
A very interesting concept. Bravo to them for thinking outside the box regardless of how practical it turns out to be.
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#20
cadaveca
My name is Dave
Looks like the same PCIe interconnect used by the new Mac Pro can.
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#21
Eagleye
It's a glorified HDD hot-swap station
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#22
Arjai
by: adulaamin
Since it's a Razer product, I'm gonna bet it's gonna cost an arm (and maybe a leg) :)
Don't forget your first born...
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#23
Arjai
by: Random Murderer

Um, what is it I am supposed to see in this collage?
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#24
natr0n
by: Arjai
Um, what is it I am supposed to see in this collage?
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#25
Blín D'ñero
Which makes the collage a fiasco. I didn't see it either before just now.





"Oh nooo... someone thinks the collage filter works on all pictures... Are they blind?!"
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