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Razer Project Christine: Thinking Outside the Box

By , video by Alex Davies - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 19 comments

Razer takes all the complexity out of building a PC.

Razer's Project Christine is one of the most interesting things from CES 2014. Razer has designed a PC system called Project Christine that removes all the mystery and technical challenges of customizing and building your own PC. Many of the modular parts of a PC are encased in a user-friendly – and liquid cooled – black plastic housing. Rather than building a PC using screwed-in parts on a motherboard set inside a case, people can build a PC simply by slotting in parts.

We recognize that readers of Tom's Hardware have the skills and knowledge to put together computers from the most complicated of parts, but the overwhelming majority of consumers select their computers from big box electronic stores and rely on an in-house squad of geeks for their service and upgrades. Razer's Project Christine would give the power of choice and customization to the consumer. 

Who knows, once a Project Christine owner experiences the joys of customizing and upgrading PC parts, they will join the Tom's Hardware community.

Razer Project Christine

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  • 0 Hide
    vincenz0 , January 10, 2014 3:43 PM
    it looks 5 feet tall! I wouldnt know anything about PC and I would still know something wrong !
  • 0 Hide
    edogawa , January 10, 2014 3:59 PM
    Don't know about this...the only thing I like about it is the display on the front. This will be for those who are not willing to learn about computers and have disposable income; what sane person would buy this otherwise?
  • 1 Hide
    lancelot123 , January 10, 2014 6:21 PM
    I'd buy this if the cost was reasonable. Especially if the mentioned subscription fee had a good price. The only reason I build my own is because it is cheaper. Unless they can bring the cost to a reasonable amount, I'd stick to making my own.I see the benefit for non-tech people though. I like that they are at least thinking outside the box and throwing ideas out there.
  • 2 Hide
    Usersname , January 10, 2014 6:46 PM
    Revolting dust trap.
  • 1 Hide
    rolandzhang3 , January 10, 2014 7:57 PM
    The biggest concerns would be pricing and availability of prices :S
  • 1 Hide
    vmem , January 10, 2014 8:29 PM
    I think this will flopt:knowing razer, it won't be cheap. but all this is is AMD/Intel/Nvidia silicon on proprietary boards inside 'proprietary' plastic with a 'proprietary' connector. all for the sake of convenience and 'ease of access'. the truth is, by the time a consumer even THINKS about upgrading a computer him/her self, he'll soon figure out it's not that hard to plug in a gpu etc etc.
  • 1 Hide
    daekar , January 10, 2014 8:59 PM
    My question is, how do you upgrade the motherboard? Is the motherboard a modular piece too? I would be interested in the subscription plan depending on pricing and actual long-term upgradability.
  • 3 Hide
    ap3x , January 11, 2014 9:06 AM
    Oh lord no. Don't think outside the box. People on this site really like their boxes.....nothing is innovative unless it conforms to the norms of standard pc architecture which is why most of these posts on this thread is going to be negative by default.

    At least they are trying something new, the only question is will the addon internals be proprietary. If so then Razer will need to really market the hell out of this thing and show how it is superior in order to get people to adopt it and give it staying power.

    Personally I think the idea of moduler computing is where we need to go but we need standards wrapped around it so that multiple companies can build the modules. Need more horsepower, plug a processor module in on the fly without rebooting. Same with memory, storage, graphics. The system will need to be able to manage the power distribution and the initialization and provisioning of the each module type.

    It can be done, I hope Razer does it.

    The cool thing is that the solution would be able to adapt to any requirement. One solution for any situation. Workstation, Gaming, Math Processing, Bitcoin mining. whatever you want to do, just buy the modules you need and plug it in and go.
  • 0 Hide
    ap3x , January 11, 2014 9:30 AM
    Quote:
    Don't know about this...the only thing I like about it is the display on the front. This will be for those who are not willing to learn about computers and have disposable income; what sane person would buy this otherwise?
    People who already know about computers, are tired of building, tweaking, and troubleshooting, and have income to buy what they want because of the time saved by not needing to do the other things I just mentioned.
  • 1 Hide
    Bloob , January 11, 2014 10:49 AM
    Were it cheap enough (only about $100 more than the average), it could see moderate success, I think. Likely it will be priced with enthusiasts in mind, which will kill it.
  • 0 Hide
    edogawa , January 11, 2014 1:42 PM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    Don't know about this...the only thing I like about it is the display on the front. This will be for those who are not willing to learn about computers and have disposable income; what sane person would buy this otherwise?
    People who already know about computers, are tired of building, tweaking, and troubleshooting, and have income to buy what they want because of the time saved by not needing to do the other things I just mentioned.


    I doubt that's very true. Self building is so simple it takes an hour or two at most(unless your liquid cooling or cutting custom cables yourself). If you know about computers there shouldn't be any need for troubleshooting, plus tweaking is mostly unnecessary these days(except for overclocking.)

    I think it would be annoying not knowing what hardware is specifically used, and not choosing the most optimal part. Hell, you could make a system with the same power in mini-itx(minus crossfire/sli).
  • 5 Hide
    biggestinsect , January 11, 2014 1:48 PM
    The modular component thing idea has been floating around for a couple decades. The mineral oil cooling is a new twist. Biggest problem is getting other manufacturers to adopt to a new standard, otherwise cost of components and component choice will be problems. With tablets and SoCs about, this is kind of an outdated concept. Would still like to see it come to market.
  • 1 Hide
    Haravikk , January 12, 2014 5:01 AM
    I'm a bit dubious about how successful this can be; obviously for DIY users the main appeal is the built in cooling and the fact that it simplifies the process, but it'll need to get some great reviews and competitive pricing to really entice system builders away from DIY projects.The main niche I see for it are people that might normally buy from a build-to-order company (and some may even start offering this case) but who want to be able to handle upgrades in future. After all, swapping in and out RAM modules and PCIe cards are still daunting tasks for the uninitiated, so if these modules make it much simpler then it may appeal to gamers who just want to play games, and aren't as bothered by DIY builds.I'd probably count myself as such a user; I can build a system, and will if it offers capabilities that I simply can't buy elsewhere, or I can save enough money doing it myself, but I don't enjoy system building enough that I wouldn't buy something easier given the choice. But for me, being able to upgrade a system incrementally is a must to get best value, so modular systems like this may be a possibility.That said, I'm really not a fan of the styling, so it's unlikely I'd make a switch to modular just yet!
  • 0 Hide
    chibiwings , January 12, 2014 3:34 PM
    I think the main target of this Product is common end users who sees opening a CPU is daunting. And it's very lucrative IMO.
  • 1 Hide
    dizchick , January 12, 2014 5:16 PM
    Interesting, but everything being proprietary could be a problem. What happens when Razer decides to scrap this or go on to something else? Monitors, will they have to be proprietary too, along with the mouse and any other peripherals? Price will be a huge issue imho. The company may make amazing products, but $1,000 tablets, $200 headsets, etc. - that is out of the realm for many of us, we can't/won't justify the cost. And I do see the dust issue, it's plastic. Plastic anything loves dust. Children, pets; now you have more to worry about. It's an idea, a good idea for those of us who can't build because of lack of how-to or physical challenges that can make trying to deal with those tiny screws, etc. close to if not impossible. But in the present form (and can only imagine how much $ for the "frame" and each component) I just don't see it flying. I don't see that many people being able to afford it, trusting that the technology won't disappear in a couple years (the proprietary nature of this if nothing else) and be stuck with a very expensive "sculpture".
  • 1 Hide
    executor2 , January 13, 2014 6:45 AM
    This guy is amazing , he is offering the idea for free about modular computers and let`s the Manufactures to create their proprietary modules ( Intel I7 module , AMD module , Nvidia module etc ) . I myself want to improve and simplify building my PC . Of-course some of you guys say " oh , but anyone can learn to put together a PC " . I agree with you , but not simplify the process is just staying in the stone age .Also nobody though that this will bring down costs , as specialized modules integrate better and have less problems ( look at Apple , they have their own closed medium , but it works much better then PC ). This will be like Apple but open source !
  • 0 Hide
    voltagetoe , January 13, 2014 12:36 PM
    Is this cooled via water or mineral oil ? Omg if it's on air...
  • 0 Hide
    J_Chiocca , February 6, 2014 8:25 AM
    The biggest problem I see with this idea is that it is aimed at an audience -- PC gamers -- that already knows for the most part how to build their own PCs. To the average consumer, who knows nothing about computers, they will see no benefit in purchasing such an expensive machine. If this is going to take off it will sure be a niche market.
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    danjacobson1953 , February 10, 2014 10:17 AM
    Looks to me like its going to be extremely proprietary which will drive the cost Higher than the average user will be able to afford.