Hands-on World's First Modular Gaming PC: Razer's Project Christine
First there was Fiona, now there is Christine. Razer unveiled its latest concept device, Project Christine and it is a beautiful beast. Dubbed "the world's most modular PC" the company's latest concept could potentially change the way we think about building gaming PCs.
It'd be easy to mistake Project Christine for a piece of abstract art. Instead of the traditional tower, Razer has stripped the tower down to its slim rack built on PCI architecture. Instead of fiddling with screws and wires, DIY-ers can simply plug any combination of modules into the available slots, for a no-muss, no-fuss custom PC. Modules consists of oblong black tubes of varying lengths. The resulting look resembled a scale model of a futuristic skyscraper.
A large display at the front of the rig caught our eye, cycling between module performance stats, the company's three-headed snake logo and a tantalizing triple boot screen. We couldn't interact with the display during our demo, but Razer envisions a touchscreen display where players can quickly access information about their gaming rig.
Besides the green from the display, the only other flash of ghostly green could be found on the side of the bottom reservoir. There a small panel showed off the systems liquid cooling fluid, mineral oil, backlit with an eerie green light.
The sky's the limit in terms of specs for Project Christine. Thanks to the dizzying amount of slots the rack holds, users could add any combination of processors, storage and graphics cards. For the demo, Christine had been outfitted with a little bit of everything including a CPU with a couple of GPUs, SSDs, a Blu-ray player, a power and I/O (input/output) module. Christine can support multiple SSDs in RAID 5 configuration. It can also have four graphics cards in quad SLI formation.
As far as operating systems, Razer hopes to create a truly open system allowing users to install whatever OS they desire on the rig. That means that someone could potentially have a triple boot solution with Windows 8, Linux and Android.
In addition to streamlining the rig building process. Razer has some interesting ideas on how ensure people who purchase Project Christine will always have the most up-to-date components. The company's CEO, Min-Liang Tan, hinted at a possible subscription service that would allow users' to trade in older components such as graphics cards once new parts were available.
"People would order their specific parts and ship back the old parts once the new ones arrived," Tan said.
This is all tantalizing stuff, provided that Project Christine makes the jump from being an awesome-looking concept to an available-for-order consumer product. Razer has a solid track record of making the fantastical realistic — provided enough fans support the idea.