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Razer Introduces Modular PC Concept Project Christine

Razer introduces a new breed of customizable PC - Project Christine.

Building your own PC has always seemed a process tailored towards the more tech-savvy user. Between navigating Newegg and other sites, to figuring out if you want to go SSD or just your basic HDD, it's a process mired in tech-speak and numbers. For some people, that daunting process can be enough to dissuade them from ever taking the plunge. 

Razer has introduced their new concept at the Consumer Electronics Expo that hopes to appeal to the hardcore enthusiasts and the average person. Codenamed Project Christine, she is a modular PC based on separate elements extending from a central "spine," easily slotted in depending on need and functionality. 

Project Christine is a revolutionary concept design that allows users to build and customize PCs in any configuration without any prior technical knowledge. 

The attractive looking concept revolves around separate mineral-oil cooled chambers. Each of these chambers includes a component to the PC, and to install, the user simply needs to slot the addition into the central tower. The hope is that such a system would allow for easy fixes for broken components and a system that is instantly upgradeable when the parts become obsolete.

There are obvious downsides for the consumer, in that parts would need to configure to Project Christine's' unique modular set-up. Razer CEO Min-Liang Tan said, "It's not going to be possible for you to rip it open and install it into another PC." 

But for a user that wants high-end components in an easy-to-install environment, Project Christine is an attractive offering. Because the components can be vastly different PC to PC, the price is incredibly fluid and dependent on the customers needs. While undoubtedly an expensive concept (since Razer would have to manufacture all the components) its innovative design is bound to influence future Razer products as well as those of its competitors. 

Another interesting concept being floated around Project Christine is the idea of a subscription model for paying for the PC rather than the traditional system. Tan explains: 

Something we're playing around with is a subscription model so instead of having to spend $2,500 on a new desktop PC, because this is modular it could be a subscription model where you say you want a tier 1 PC at any point in time. Or I want a tier 2 PC at any point in time. Say a new GPU comes out, we could ship them the new GPU, they take out the old GPU and ship it back to us, and they just plug in the new GPU. And at any point in time, the gamer will always have a tier 1 PC without having to worry about all of that. 

Definitely enticing for the gamer/user that wants to be on the cutting edge. Perpetually customizable, Project Christine is an attractive package. 

Would you buy into Razer's Project Christine? Does the subscription model sound like an interesting idea? Sound off in the comments below. 

Published Jan. 8th 2014
  • Miranda Kirk
    Featured Columnist
    I wouldn't buy this for me, personally, but I do see the benefits to consumers who might not know how to build a computer from scratch. I think this is a great idea for the majority because it would seem extremely simple to fix should something go wrong. I do like the idea of the subscription model, like you said, to stay on the cutting edge of things, as long as the price was not outrageous.
  • Amanda Wallace
    Former Staff Editor
    $2500, the price he sort of threw out there, is what i've seen some people pay for a quality gaming rig. A subscription model could make that price less scary.
  • Katy Hollingsworth
    Former Staff Editor
    I am actually not a fan. As someone who built my own computer, one of the main advantages I have is to pick and choose brands that I trust and models that I think are beneficial to my machine--while this concept is pretty cool, it completely locks me down in the sense that I have to stick with Razer (and their affiliates) throughout. Customization in that sense becomes almost impossible.

    Then again, this type of thing isn't being marketed towards me, but towards someone who wants a hand in building a computer without having to do so from complete scratch with almost endless options for each component. So I suppose if they can accomplish that and further the master race, then more power to them!
  • Amanda Wallace
    Former Staff Editor
    Yeah, i built my set-up a year or so back, and while I appreciate the idea of simply pulling out a piece to replace it this would tie me down to a really specific line of products. And I'm not really sold on that.
  • Katy Hollingsworth
    Former Staff Editor
    I'm also a little concerned about products just hanging off the side of the spine like that. Granted, components are rarely ever very heavy, but in a PC case they don't need any plastic casing of their own. Here, they're in the open and thus require a case, which adds weight.

    Design kind of worries me--it seems like something like this would make a product wear faster as you put stress on the connections.

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