Razer Shows Off Project Christine, a Funky Modular PC Concept

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iplayoneasy

Kick ass plug in play mineral oil pc. So simple a console fan can use it. You pay for nice you get nice. Am I the only one who thinks it's awesome?

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LatiosXT

It's awesome in theory, but in execution not really. Plus their marketing team is smoking magical fairy dust. For instance they think they can ease the cost of materials with this to make PC gaming less of a pain for those that want to get in.

Yeah, in Razer's dreams considering this is a proprietary, custom-made design. Unless they found a free energy and materials, it's going to be more expensive than if someone just got something from an OEM and gave their computer savvy buddy a few bucks to upgrade it down the road.

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The Mac

the reality is, those modules are just custom boxes. So theoretically they could use off the shelf parts. But his also means more cost for materials.

Then there is heat issues for cramming them into closed boxes, etc.

Are you really gonna cram a Titan or a 290x in one of those modules?

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Cache

I could see this as a future of consoles--something that they could theoretically sell as upgrades between major releases. But for the PC? It's a cute idea that ultimately lacks the finesse of parts selection and individual selection.

But for the console crowd? If MS or Sony took this idea and ran with it, it would be a huge game-changer in their arena.

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icebox1701

sure, because switching from a well stocked (semi)standardized design (pcie, usb, cpu sockets) to proprietary crap that looks good is always desirable

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MaximumMike

Ummmmm.... PC's are already modular.

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kraany

They are semi modular but if you take a part out you have to keep it very safe or it will break and also you would have to install the new software each time.

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MaximumMike

Ummmmm... you do realize that the design in this article doesn't change any of that, right? The modules for this thing seem just as breakable, and will obviously also need software... duh. Also, PC's are one of the most modular products made available to consumers. Almost every part can be swapped out. They come with a plethora of slots and ports capable of interfacing with just about anything imaginable. You would be hard put to name anything more modular... except for maybe LEGO's.

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legionera

+1

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Renegade Knight

Love the concept. If they can standardize the tower that the modules plug into so that anybody ban build modules and it all just works and actually is future proof (to the greatest extent possible). This has potential.

In other words. Razor has to invent a module market the way Apple created an iOS market. It's a tough job even with brilliant design that solves the problems the astute posters have already commented on.

If they pull it off I'd actually pay extra for this.

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JosephColt

Razer is the Apple of gaming.

On another note, this is smart in concept, but most likely bad in execution. I expect a high price tag and little choice with this type of design. Computers are becoming smaller and require less room. This really isn't the future; at least not in that way....

You can basically have a computer the size of a PS3 if you do a mini itx design with a PCIe SSD and mini graphics card(like the 760 mini) while still being modular and easily upgradable. Although a power supply will affect the size a bit, but maybe we will see high quality power supplies designed specifically for mini itx cases soon.

These days unless your system is built for the extreme, and I mean extreme, overclocking past turbo isn't necessary or even a high end cooling heat sink. The days of large computers is numbered.

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kraany

the $1500 razer blade is half as good as my $1500 laptop

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Sir Hobbes3

Razer is the Apple of gaming? Yeah right, Razer stuff is actually cool and not so hipsterish. Apple is good but has all the hipster/trendy people following it. This is actually a good idea.

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JosephColt

Razer has a few good mice and keyboards, but most of their products lack quality control, and they over charge for their products by at least 15%.

Gamers are an easy crowd to market to, you can make them buy anything easily.

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kiaghi7

As The Mac was saying, the core of this problem actually comes from the core of every computer...

The Mother Board...

For the first generation, it could be cutting edge... I'm confident it would have an exceedingly fast BUS, great RAM options and lots of slots for it, SATA3, USB3, Thunderbolt, BBQ2.0 Compatibity and so on...

But what happens in 3-4 years when those things start to become old and no longer the fastest options available? What happens in 6-7 years when those things are woefully inadequate by then "today's" standard?

Capability of the motherboard can't just be increased infinitely, even if you just so happen to be able to get better components that are compatible with it, sooner or later there WILL be a bottleneck that an ever aging technological anchor can't overcome.

This idea has been hashed over before, and it will be hashed over in the future...

Eliminating the case from the equation, and taking the "spooky mystery" out of computer components would do a great service to the vast majority of users, and simplifying the modularity to "lego bricks" that can only fit a certain way and is more or less "idiot-resistant" is a definite improvement for many novice computer users, and may well allow for them to use such a system.

However even if the "core column" which is still in effect the motherboard is itself replaceable and therefore upgradeable, all they've really managed to do is take the PC out of the case and make it look different.

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John Pombrio

This has been on the radar for years and years. I remember modular blocks being mentioned when Firewire was around, then SATA, then USB, now Thunderbolt. Like the modular smartphone concept, it SOUNDS good but the devil is in the details. How do your route power to the graphics module? what happens if you go to a card that needs more power but the socket on the backplane does not support it? Who builds the cards that are completely different than a regular card?
A good example of this in spades is the new Mac Pro. Check out the iFixit teardown. The AMD FirePro graphics cards are plugged into a huge pin and socket arrangement, no way to ever use anything but cards made specifically for that Mac Pro.
No, this is not modular, it is just a way to create a proprietary box. Good for Razer, bad for the consumer.

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Renegade Knight

I had a Kaypro back in the dawn of IBM PCs. It was modular and future proof. That's why I bought it. Reality was that the upgrades were expensive and the backplane that let them be upgraded was subject to being upgraded and in the end just as obsolete as everything else. When I was ready to upgrade it was cheaper and better to get a new system.

The devil is in the details. To pull this off everything has to be standardized across manufactures. That standard has to have a future in mind.

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LatiosXT

The problem is that this doesn't seem like a push for being a standard. Which means it'll probably be juts as expensive, if not more than what people would be doing anyway.

Plus you can't have one reference design and expect it to last forever. What if interconnects in future standards require more pins than what this thing can support?

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The Mac

Unless the the motherboard and CPU are modular, i dont see "obsolescence" going away.

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elven1assasin

Kinda a cool concept. I guess it would be great for someone who doesnt know much about parts or building computers. But I have alot of pride in building my own custom computers. And It just feels great to see someone look at your custom computer and go wow, thats way cool! I feel like this would take away what makes building computers fun. but i doubt something like this would take over the simple building of a computer though