This week at CES, Razer introduced its new Nabu smartband, but it seems that’s not all the gaming hardware maker had up its sleeve. Today, it unveiled a new modular desktop gaming PC unlike anything we’ve seen before. Dubbed Project Christine, the concept design takes every component of a PC and integrates it into a small, metal-encased pod that can be snapped in and out of the tower on the fly.
Modular PC design isn’t a novel concept, but in most examples, comes with significant limitations. While products like Xi3’s Piston simplify expansion to the core makeup of the machine, swapping the CPU, GPU, RAM, or other internal components still requires disassembly. Project Christine makes the process of swapping, adding, or upgrading components effortless and wire-free. The system uses PCI-Express architecture to connect and sync each component for what Razer calls “plug-and-play” upgradability.
The modules will house everything from GPUs, SSDs, RAM, power supplies, and the CPU, which can be organized in any configuration the user sees fit. Each will feature active liquid cooling and noise cancellation, which Razer says will allow them to factory overclock components for higher performance. The tower will also come equipped with a built-in LCD touch screen, which offers controls and maintenance information for each module.
The design is certainly one of the most ambitious we’ve seen on a gaming PC concept, and stands to make the process of upgrading your rig simpler than ever, but the big questions remain: how much it will cost and will it make it past the prototype concept stage? Based on Razer’s track record, Project Christine will likely come at a premium, and if it follows the precedent established by the Edge gaming tablet at CES 2013, could arrive within the year.
We’ll be seeking answers to these questions and more when we get a first look at the machine this week at CES. For more updates from the show.