One of the coolest - and weirdest - things to appear at CES has to be Razer's new modular gaming PC, Project Christine. It's only a concept right now, though a working, tangible one, but it's already looking stunning and a bit of a dream for people who hate faffing about when upgrading their desktop.
It's beautiful and understated, and strikingly simple, at least on the surface. There's a bay station, which just looks like a single, thick strip that surrounds all the modules, and upgrading the desktop just requires you to plug a new unit into it, connected to the bay through Razer's proprietary interface. Simple as that.
All the modules are mineral oil cooled, so it's as quiet as death, and the quick release fittings mean that you can just swap modules easily, upgrading from a single GPU to SLI in a matter of seconds. It's like something out of Star Trek, if Star Trek wasn't really dated.
This isn't anything that's coming to market any time soon, but as a concept it's an impressive one, and if there's a demand for it, Razer will start producing them. Possibly the only major problem that I forsee is that something like this is going to be incredibly expensive, and there's a disparity between who would benefit the most out of a rig like this and who would actually want to drop a ton of cash on it.
People who are willing to throw big, fat wads of cash on their gaming PC are probably already going to be entirely comfortable opening up their regular rig, fiddling around and doing all the hard work themselves. They're also likely to be the people who want the most control over their system and to see exactly what's going on inside it. Project Christine doesn't seem to be really aimed at that sort of PC enthusiast, because it removes the nitty gritty and a lot of transparency that comes with it.
The modules will - at least to start with - all be from Razer, using their proprietory interface, which instantly means users will be hit with a ton of limitations, like what brands they can use. You won't just be able to find a new, better SSD from a manufacturer you like and slot it in there.
Despite this, it's still absolutely fascinating. If I had the sort of money I expect will be necessary to pick one of these up should they ever be sold, I'd buy one in an instant. I open up my PC only when I have to, I really get stressed when upgrading because I always fret about damaging the components or doing something wrong, even though in all the years I've been putting together my own gaming rigs, I've never had a serious problem. I deal with it out of necessity, but wouldn't have to if I had a modular system like this.
What do you folks think? Would you ever want a rig like Project Christine?