Razer's new modular PC desktop concept made to be quickly upgraded for non-techies

Razer has announced the design for a desktop PC concept that can be quickly upgraded, even if the owner has no idea how to put in new memory sticks or a new motherboard. The concept has the code name "Project Christine" and was revealed today as part of the company's CES 2014 lineup.

The idea behind Project Christine is to develop a PC that has interchangeable modules that will have the parts like the CPU, GPU, RAM, storage drives, motherboards and more. It uses PCI-Express to sync up each part. The press release states:

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.

Even though each module is designed to be self contained, they can also add features like liquid cooling in order to overclock parts like the CPU and GPU. The design also has an LCD to offer the owner information about the status of their system.

Razer has a history of announcing concepts that are later turned into full-fledged consumer products, such as "Project Fiona", their Windows-based gaming tablet that was first announced at CES 2012 and was later launched in March 2013 as the Razer Edge. It's more than possible that a version of "Project Christine" could be launched to the public sometime in the future.

Image via Razer

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I think this concept will come to fruition but i bet it will die hard... umm not the john mcclane die hard hahah. It will be very expensive at first so will be aimed at the enthusiast market, but every enthusiast can build there own PC's and we are picky as hell when it comes to hardware... the brand, the version eg evga classified or kingpin or sapphire vapour-x or toxic, i5, i7, or AMD, brand of RAM, HD's so thats pointless and the average joe wont really be to bothered about upgrades.

Theres so little advancement in the power of CPU's (where the average joe will be uncomfortable about replacing cus of HS+fan removal etc) that its a pointless upgrading all the time a decent i7, i5 or latest AMD's last years (my i7 950 still going strong and will for another few years) and only thing to really upgrade is the gfx card or ram which is extremely easy and like someone has said if they are uncomfortable theyll know someone who can do it for them or get it done cheaply at a shop. Good concept, but cant see it catching on

Cant imagine this succeeding, the potential market is too small and steam machines would likely be a better fit (for this market, of none techies that want to play pc games).

Looks brilliant. And it would appeal, I suspect, to even techie people. Working in IT for quite a few years, and originally being really enthusiastic about building my own computers etc in the past, there does sometimes come a point where you get a bit burned out of it all and just want things to be as easy / hassle free at home when you're fixing stuff at work all the time. So stuff like this would probably appeal to a wide cross-section of users - technical and non-technical.

it should have some sort of a cover to protect the components from being pressed too hard in the wrong way which can break the slot or the component, or both

I wonder who this hapless non-techie eponymous Christine is, 'cos I have a namesake friend who's a complete geek and hard-core feminist to boot and I'm sure she'll be none too happy at how they selected a woman's name (moreover her name) for this.

the cost will be too high, no one will produce the modules, and unless they find a way where you can replace components in modules yourself, this is going nowhere!

Each component is mineral oil cooled.
This is plug an play to the nth degree.

If they would sell empty modules you could fill with your own components, that would certainly help the price conscious amongst us.

Reminds me of those power cells in dead space, chunky cartridges you can pull out and put in.

or

Star Trek NG on the SNES, you're on a ship being held hostage by chodaks, and there's these key catridges that you put in slots. Reminds me a LOT about that.

I don't see how its hard to build a computer now just jigsaw pieces and not like the internet isn't filled with good information for building your own

I pretty much feel ideas like this are cool in concept. But in reality, they will fail, basically b/c of the cost of the proprietary components. Even if Razor were theoretically going to sell the parts at cost, it would still be more expensive than regular PC parts because it isn't mass-produced, and thus costs more to make.

It would take multiple manufacturers to agree on a 'standard' to make this catch on...as opposed to just one OEM.

Melfster said,
People rarely upgrade computers because its to hard for the average joe.

I have to agree with this.

Even if users realize they can upgrade components and don't have the skill, the majority of them know someone that can or at least a cheap tech shop that will do it cheaply.

If this was 1985 or 1995 even, there would be more of a market for this technology. However, there are too many people that were born after 1990 and a majority of them have played with computers early on and know the basics. (Usually they know more than they think they do, as they might be hesitant to try an upgrade thinking there is some magic trick they don't know, when there isn't.)

The 'tech' kids of the previous generation that were upgrading their neighbor's computer are now the 'tech' kids that are replacing the LCD or touchscreen on their neighbor's cellphone, which is a lot harder than swapping in and out PC components.

It was estimated that these types of solutions would be 'big' in the mobile world, about 8 years ago, it never happened there either. In fact, the market has moved more to the closed and disposable products. (iPad for example.)

That looks like a Level10 case...


And seriously, a non-techie is going to buy one of these and upgrade? *lol*