January 9, 2014

Razer Unveils Project Christine Concept

Razer has unveiled a concept computer by the name of Project Christine at CES 2014. Project Christine is a idea that tries to open up the full potential of PC hardware to people who have limited or no technical knowledge.

The computer is a modular system that has the many components required for a computer branching out of a central column. All the components can be swapped out and replaced as easily as putting an SD card into the reader. Simply place the module (in the correct orientation, of course) into the slot, and you're all done, no need to know which port to plug it into or if it will work or not. Gamers wanting to build their own PC can now do so without worrying about which parts to buy and if it will fit or not. Terms such as LGA2011, DDR3 1600, and PCIe 3.0 can all be daunting to some one who's building their own PC for the first time. Many experienced PC builders can agree that trying to help someone start off building a computer can be a mission in itself and often results in a lot of confusion and explanations. With Project Christine, all the modular components are compatible with each other, making customization as simple as deciding on how fast you want it, or how much you are willing to spend.

As computer components grow faster and more powerful, interfaces change as well, making component upgrades complicated, and often expensive, sometimes requiring users to replace most of the components in the computer. Project Christine tries to overcome that by having an universal connector that is used throughout all their components. An upgrade is done by taking out the old component and slotting a new one in.

“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,” Razers continues.

The computer is cooled with a built in liquid cooling system that runs through the backbone of the system. The reservoir is located in the same module as the power supply, which ensures that you cant forget the cooling system - it won't turn on if its missing - which eliminates the possibility of users overheating the system due to a lack of cooling, and eliminates fan hum as well by using a coolant to cool all the components.

The modules communicate with each other through the central backbone using the PCI-E interface used by all modern graphics cards. There is a proprietary connector in the centre of the slot, as well as two round quick disconnects at both sides for the coolant to flow through the module, and not out of the backbone when nothing is plugged in.

Razer mentioned that Project Christine will support more than one OS - like most computers - so we may see an option for Steam OS seeing that Razer might not want to be left out.

Seeing that Project Christine uses a proprietary interface, I'm interested in seeing if Razer will allow other companies to use their connector to create modules for Project Christine, or be like certain other companies and sell all the modules themselves.

Project Christine is still a concept, so it may or may not happen, but it will be interesting to see what Razer does with this. For updates, sign up on Razer's website here.

Source: Razer 

Martin Tam is an editor and the Director of Video Production at [blank]’s Universe. He is also a technology enthusiast that particularly enjoys computers and photography. He enjoys breaking things and sleeping in his spare time.