Razer Project Christine: A first look at a wild new vision for build-your-own gaming PCs

/ Updated: January 8, 2014 4:08 PM PST

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LAS VEGAS -- The new Mac Pro might be the beginning of a reinvention in desktop PC design, but Razer wants a say in it, too.

At CES 2014, PC gaming company Razer, always known to make splashes with unique design concepts, unveiled Project Christine on the show floor. It's a prototype mock-up for the future of modular PCs, and it's a high-end gaming rig that will plug and play all sorts of modules.

Scott Stein/CNET

Razer has never made a desktop PC before, and only recently made PCs at all: the Razer Blade and Razer Edge were its first products, both showing a lot of design prowess. The design for Project Christine tops all that: what's on the show floor here in Las Vegas is little more than a metal chassis mock-up, but the design is incredibly cool to behold: a central rack holds plug-in parts that sprout from the sides, building a tower in any combination. It looks simultaneously far-futuristic and a bit steampunk.

Scott Stein/CNET

Even crazier, it's cooled with mineral oil. A module in the bottom holds the cooling oil, while dual pressure valve systems in each module carry the oil through.

As for the modules, Razer envisions RAM, graphics, speakers, processors, Blu-ray drives, and even a visual LED control and maintenance module that could be ordered separately and upgraded as needed. Razer's dream is for other manufacturers to build parts to the spec, too.

Scott Stein/CNET

Making that all work with be a tall order, but Razer has a history of following through on its promises: Project Fiona, shown off a few years ago, eventually became the very real Razer Edge gaming tablet.

It's a smart design, and one of the best-looking things I've seen at this year's CES. For more, check out Razer's Web site.

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Razer Project Christine

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