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  • Death666Angel - Wednesday, January 22, 2014 - link

    "or even liquid-cooling, Razer is apparently using a non-conductive mineral oil that circulates through all of the modules"
    Because that mineral oil isn't liquid, right? :P
    Reply
  • Death666Angel - Wednesday, January 22, 2014 - link

    As for the design itself, I love it. But that's because I love everything that is different. As for practicality, I don't think a normal PC is that difficult. I've built my first at the age of 14. I can walk many people through replacing stuff on the phone. And the money stuff I've read about this this project is insane. You could buy many boutique PCs for the money you need to invest here. Business wise, I don't see who needs it. Reply
  • Friendly0Fire - Wednesday, January 22, 2014 - link

    Liquid cooling is generally used to talk about a liquid getting pumped through a closed-circuit piping network with heatsinks attached directly to the pipes. That's a bit different from just bathing the components in oil and presumably cooling it at some point. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, January 23, 2014 - link

    I've clarified the text, but as I understand it, this is what Razer is doing. It's one thing to use liquid as a heat-transfer medium and something else to just submerge the components in mineral oil. Reply
  • Aikouka - Thursday, January 23, 2014 - link

    Jarred, take a look at this photo:

    http://www.anandtech.com/Gallery/Album/3364#3

    The modules appear to have what looks like quick disconnect plugs that are used in custom water cooling loops. This would lead me to believe that the coolant (mineral oil) is being circulated among the parts. Honestly, my guess was that they would use the same fluid as AIO water coolers (ethylene glycol?). The only issue that I could think of would be that replacing a module would take away some of your coolant, but that's easily remedied by having all modules come pre-filled with coolant.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, January 23, 2014 - link

    Yes, the mineral oil is circulated similar to liquid-cooling, and each modules should come pre-filled with mineral oil. You still need a radiator/fan somewhere to help remove heat from the system, but if the components are all bathed in mineral oil I also wonder how well the oil would be circulated via the pump(s). Reply
  • mike8675309 - Monday, January 27, 2014 - link


    When using liquids you do not need to pump the entire fluid through the system. Natural circulation will keep the components with a supply of cooler liquids. If designed right the suction side of the pump should be at where the hot layer of oil (less dense) is. In a system like this, you would expect that the module furthest from the supply of the heat exchange would see the highest temperatures assuming a serial configuration.
    Reply
  • Flunk - Wednesday, January 22, 2014 - link

    Not at -200C it isn't. But I think I might be going a bit far. Reply
  • nevertell - Wednesday, January 22, 2014 - link

    Well, maybe the liquid is being cooled with phase-change cooling. Which would be both awesome and doable. Problem with this design is the cost. And it's size, since, as the new Mac Pro and mini-itx cases have shown, people don't want their computers to be big and bulky. Reply
  • SunLord - Thursday, January 23, 2014 - link

    Some people don't want their computers to be big and bulky. Reply
  • nevertell - Thursday, January 23, 2014 - link

    Most people. Reply
  • bestguyever - Wednesday, February 05, 2014 - link

    The new Mac Pro may be small but by the time you ad all the hubs and accessories you have a bug messy pile of components and cables on your desk. Reply
  • p1esk - Wednesday, January 22, 2014 - link

    First of all, any standard desktop PC is modular. Is it really so difficult to open a PC case and replace/add something? How often do you do that?

    Second, if the cooling method is really bathing components in oil how are you supposed to replace them? This does not make any sense.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, January 23, 2014 - link

    You buy a new/different module. Reply
  • p1esk - Thursday, January 23, 2014 - link

    So they will provide modules with any component I want? Is RAM in its own separate module? If no, how am I supposed to upgrade it?

    All potential limitations aside, this thing does look cool. It would probably take a prize at some PC mod fest. And honestly, who upgrades the internals of their PC anymore? You buy something like this to look at, not to mess with upgrades.

    It reminds me Phonebloks modular phone, yeah, cool idea, but no, it's not going to be very popular.
    Reply
  • name99 - Thursday, January 23, 2014 - link

    The phrase you are looking for is
    "a solution in search of a problem".
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, January 24, 2014 - link

    The CPU and RAM currently come in one module (possibly chipset as well, though Razer didn't say). It's not clear if you could upgrade the RAM on your own, but probably not -- just send the original RAM and CPU module back to Razer after you get a new one is one possibility. Long-term, if the idea flies Razer would be looking to work with many larger partners to get additional modules supported. Reply
  • Breit - Friday, January 24, 2014 - link

    I've read somewhere, that they eventually plan on releasing empty modules for enthusiasts which they can fill with their own stuff. No idea how that will work out, but maybe they got that sorted?! Maybe a module with an empty CPU and RAM sockets? Reply
  • Egg - Wednesday, January 22, 2014 - link

    With CPU/RAM/Chipset not really being replacable (this came to mind actually when I first saw this too...) what is the point of this? It's only marginally more easily upgradable than a normal PC. It just takes a little bit of effort. Reply
  • Rocket321 - Thursday, January 23, 2014 - link

    I'm thinking hot swap bays, but for pci-e cards as well as storage. Pretty cool concept but with obviously a lot of issues to sort out. Reply
  • lmcd - Friday, January 24, 2014 - link

    Well if you have a bunch of people with these, say take the sound card over to a friend's for a party?

    IDK what other situations even make close to sense with this.
    Reply
  • lmcd - Friday, January 24, 2014 - link

    Now that I think about it, with PCIe 3.0-based XF, AMD graphics cards in these would make a ton of sense for choosing where your power goes. Reply
  • Gigaplex - Thursday, January 23, 2014 - link

    The point is to appeal to the "gamer crowd" who supposedly like the aesthetics. Reply
  • Aikouka - Thursday, January 23, 2014 - link

    http://www.anandtech.com/Gallery/Album/3364#1

    On the left side, fourth module down. That module says "CPU RAM" on it, which leads me to believe that you can replace it. If I had to guess, either the PCH is also in that module, or the whole system will be limited to specific components based upon the underlying tech in the base.
    Reply
  • pewterrock - Thursday, January 23, 2014 - link

    I think he meant upgrade the CPU or RAM. You can only upgrade both, not one or the other. Reply
  • syxbit - Thursday, January 23, 2014 - link

    If the price we reasonable, I'd definitely buy one.
    Say, a 20% markup on each component. But we all know they'll screw the pooch and overcharge, and it just won't sell well
    Reply
  • fokka - Thursday, January 23, 2014 - link

    i completely agree with you. i would be honestly surprised if this thing comes with less than 100% markup. Reply
  • beginner99 - Thursday, January 23, 2014 - link

    This things has no market. Most people don't care and just buy a new one after their 5+ year old turd becomes completely unusable. Others that care more are already served well with the current status. Nowadays it's not like you need to be a rocket scientist to add RAM or any kind of PCIe card. Before plug+play days this might have had case but not know. Reply
  • doc.ram - Thursday, January 23, 2014 - link

    I saw some video where they told about monthly subscription. If you pay certain amount, they will send you the latest parts (which are swappable) whenever they are released & you will have to send the old part back to them. Reply
  • Gigaplex - Thursday, January 23, 2014 - link

    "though Razer indicated that there’s at least on working prototype that’s currently being used by their CEO"

    To me, that's the most unbelievable claim they've made related to this project. Even if they had a working prototype, why would the CEO be the one doing the hands on testing? He's got better things to do with his time, and minions to do that for him.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, January 23, 2014 - link

    Razer's CEO isn't quite your run-of-the-mill CEO. Plus, if he has a working prototype, I'd assume more than just that one exists. I gathered from some of the comments that Project Christine (and Nabu) are something he came up with and tasked his employees with creating, rather than something the engineering folks dreamed up on their own. Reply
  • dac7nco - Thursday, January 23, 2014 - link

    This is impossible, and would be in anything else but VME/SBUSS, where the CPU was an add-in card. This system would have to have to have a proprietary connector, in each "cell", which fed PCIe-16 3.0, SATA-III and up to 300 watts.

    Oh, and mesh, seamlessly with the factory water/(OIL!) cooler when Mr. NumbSkull picks up a GTX-760 module at WalMart. God help us from this.

    Daimon
    Reply
  • Dustin Sklavos - Thursday, January 23, 2014 - link

    This thing is a logistical horror show, and every time I hear about it I actually get a little more irritated.

    Best of CES boondoggle. Really, the prototype is being used by the CEO, that's why they couldn't demonstrate a working one on the show floor? They could only make one prototype? Of a device that requires so much extra work and expense to be modular that it defeats the purpose?
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, January 23, 2014 - link

    "at least one working prototype" doesn't mean it's the only one. Supposedly at least one of the systems at CES was working prior to being shipped to the show. Yeah, I know -- I believe that story about as much as anything else. Anyway, I (and you, hahaha) know someone that works over at Razer, and this is a real thing. How many exist? He can't say. How well do they work? He can't say. But it's not just a fake prop on a pedestal.

    I'll withhold any final judgement until (if) the design ships. I still feel the whole thing is more like an automotive concept car that's unlikely to ever be produced in reasonable quantities, and honestly while it's eye-catching I can't see this as being somehow aesthetically superior to all the other cases out there. Anyone with kids or pets is probably thinking the same thing: "That tower of modules is a disaster waiting to happen!"
    Reply
  • mobutu - Thursday, January 23, 2014 - link

    This is a superb idea and I really really hope it gets to see the light soon.
    Fantastic thinking and thumbs up for the folks over there at Razer.
    Reply
  • piroroadkill - Thursday, January 23, 2014 - link

    A "modular PC"? You mean like every normal desktop? Reply
  • Rocket321 - Thursday, January 23, 2014 - link

    ...except the Mac Pro! lol Reply
  • eanazag - Thursday, January 23, 2014 - link

    What wasn't mentioned here is that OCing would be automatic and warranty supported. Knowing that there is oil cooling would really appeal to boutique buyers. There is more info on Razer's site. Reply
  • Notmyusualid - Thursday, January 23, 2014 - link

    It looks amazing. Reply
  • HisDivineOrder - Thursday, January 23, 2014 - link

    I always suspected something like this would come eventually. The thing is, I don't think so anymore. The reason is because of cost. This will cost a pretty penny. Much like anything Razer, actually.

    I also happen to think the limitations of chipset/memory and other devices along with the fact only THEY will make the modules is going to seriously limit this concept.

    If AMD were pushing this concept, I could actually believe it more. AMD makes or sells CPU's, GPU's, motherboard chipsets, memory, and it wouldn't be hard to imagine them selling SSD's. They could push this concept in a way that no one else could simply because of their reach.

    If Intel, nVidia, and AMD all showed up saying, "This is the future of desktop PC's," and used this as a way to introduce ease of use with higher end performance than your traditional laptop/tablet/smartphone SOC, then I'd say, "Yeah, this is going to be revolutionary."

    But I see this as the desktop equivalent of the Razer netbook that never came to market.
    Reply
  • Rocket321 - Thursday, January 23, 2014 - link

    I agree that this is a bit of a silly idea, but if there is one thing needed in the PC space it's innovation. I hope Razer keeps dreaming up crazy ideas and gets some motivation behind other companies as well. Reply
  • name99 - Thursday, January 23, 2014 - link

    Something like this DID come "eventually" ---in the 1980s and 1990s. That's what a bog standard tower PC is.
    You may also have noticed that they are being outsold 100 to 1 by phones, tablets, laptops, even iMac clones. Which tells you something about the urgency of the "problem" that modularity is solving.
    Reply
  • An00bis - Saturday, February 01, 2014 - link

    It's like saying matchstick boxes outsell modern cars 1000 to 1, well of course they do dumbass. Something that costs less, breaks more easily and is worn as a fashion accessory will get replaced faster than something that just works and doesn't need upgrades. Modern PCs have been so powerful since 2010 or so that there's no reason for most people to upgrade. I have a sandy bridge i5 and if I were to buy a modern cpu, I'd barely get like 10-20% more performance in a few specialized programs. Phones on the other hand, are cheaper, and receive performance/OS/spec upgrades every other month. It's clear to see why phones outsell PCs and this has been the norm since cellphones appeared.

    what are you going to say now? you'll start saying with a smirk that the sun is bright and that hitting your head on the walls gives you a boo-boo? thank you captain obvious, you always come to the rescue.
    Reply
  • fokka - Thursday, January 23, 2014 - link

    i had really hoped that we'd get depper insights here at anandtech, but it seems razor just isn't providing enough information for this.

    i think we can all agree that this seems like an intriguing concept and looks quite stunning at the very least. also it won't be a cheap solution and given the rumours that only razor will sell parts for it is another big problem.

    on the hardware architecture itself, unless razor implements some genius design-solutions, there will be a boatload of difficulcies and restrictions inherent to a build like christine.

    things like upgrading ram could be solved rather easily, there just needed to be a door on the main module, where cpu/chipset are included. handling with ordinary ram-dimms would defeat the razors concept a bit, though, but they could just encase them in slim black/green metal sticks, akin to fuel cells one might know from sci-fi movies, or videogames. not a big problem.

    but upgrading the cpu is a whole nother scenario, since you'd probably have to exchange the whole chipset/mainboard-module including this part.

    that's also why i don't think razer will offer amd-based solutions, at least not for quite a while. it's difficult/complicated enough with intel only, i imagine, so i don't think they're very eager to include processors from the underdog of the cpu-sector. unless amd pays good money, that is, but i doubt that.

    another thing i'm not sure how they will solve it is cooling. ok, it's cool (no pun) they want to use oil as a heat conductor/disperser, but where will the oil be cooled? is the surface of the whole rig enough to cool down a 500-1000+w machine? without fans? i could imagine they can pull it off with vertical modules and a very ripped surface, but that thing would look like a radiator then.

    the next point might be more nitpick, than problem, but i'd find it to be overkill, to add a whole module, just to add another ssd/hdd. i think, at least with ssds, they should still offer a module, where you can plug in 2-4 2,5" drives of your own choice, instead of wasting space for each individual drive.

    also, adding a cheap part like a hdd in its own module, maybe even oil cooled (to help with the heat load of the whole system) seems mighty exaggerated. this would easily make a 200$-upgrade out of what you could have for sub-100$ on a normal machine.
    but somehow i ghave ot the impression that a low price is the last thing razor wants to adress with this concept.

    the last point i came up with regards recycling old/broken parts. i guess razor would have to offer a free service where they'd take back the modules, recycle the oil, refurbish case and maybe even the electronics and then resell them somehow. this seems to be rather effortful, but just throwing away those nicely built aluminum-modules filled with oil and electronics would be an irresponsible waste.

    something else i wanted to add (no, i'm not finished, yet!): in the article jarred mentions additional pcie-lanes. i think a build like christine is predestined for ivy bridge/haswell-e and triple/quad-sli. hell, maybe they even bring a xeon-based model, just for the hell of it.
    if they "only" went with ordinary consumer class hardware, lanes really could be used up quite fast and afaik a plx controller can only help with "redistribution" of lanes, not offering more lanes/bandwidth (to the cpu).
    pcie4 could further help with this limitation, but it will be a while until we see pcie4-hardware.

    this would be all, i think.
    Reply
  • cmdrdredd - Saturday, January 25, 2014 - link

    I would disagree...this thing looks hideous, stupid, expensive, impractical, and worthless in the market. Reply
  • Aries1470 - Sunday, January 26, 2014 - link

    They said the same thing about the car ;-) Reply
  • andrewaggb - Monday, January 27, 2014 - link

    yeah I think it's ugly and relatively pointless. Desktops are already upgradeable. Unless this works substantially differently, I suspect it will have many of the same problems. Reply
  • justaviking - Thursday, January 23, 2014 - link

    It's a CONCEPT, not a product. Nobody said it was practical today.

    Look at automotive "concept vehicles." Gull wing doors, six wheels, a desk and a fridge, holographic displays...

    Look at "runway fashion." Victoria's Secret "angel wings," or a dress that drags 12 feet behind you, or a suit with shoulders you could place your nick-knacks on...

    Things like this are meant to attract attention, demonstrate ideas, brand your company, inspire your customers, employees, and investors, and maybe, just maybe, evolve into an actual product someday (which may or may not look much like the initial prototype).

    I think it's a cool idea. It seems to me having a fiber optic backbone would be a good way to provide the bandwidth between sections, but that silicon-to-fiber interface is still tricky. And would you have to buy the "internals" of the modules from Razer, already packaged in the module? (Probably, which means no more shopping a Newegg or TigerDirect.) Practical? I don't think so. But a cool concept? Oh yeah.
    Reply
  • fokka - Thursday, January 23, 2014 - link

    you're right, it's just that in the computer sector those concepts and prototypes seem to be more grounded in reality, than futuristic car concepts and of course those ridiculous contraptions they're wearing at fashion shows.

    so i think it's reasonable to expect razor to bring this concept to market sometime in 2014, early 2015 which isn't all that far in the future. and that's why people like me publicly comment on the concept and verbalize their hopes and doubts about it.
    but that is a good thing, because who knows, maybe razor hears some of the feedback, even from lowly commenters and forum users, and is able to adapt and fine tune the rig to better appeal to the future customer.
    Reply
  • Murloc - Thursday, January 23, 2014 - link

    The price will never be worth it since anyone who's able to choose a cpu/gpu/ram/hard disk configuration for himself has enough ability (and probably interest) to assembly the PC himself. If not, you can pay $100 for someone or the shop to do it for you and test it as well, which is much less pricey than whatever pricey cooling system component goes to waste every time you change a piece in this modular PC. Reply
  • Aries1470 - Sunday, January 26, 2014 - link

    There are still many people out there, that prefer form over functionality, and prices to be higher than your average Joe can afford, so that they can have something different.

    Just saying. :)
    Reply
  • DemBones79 - Thursday, January 23, 2014 - link

    I'm more interested to know how- if at all- they solved the issue of Windows freaking out when you replace certain low-level components of the computer. I haven't tried doing this since Windows 7, but I know with older versions of Windows, if I had to replace the mainboard, it would no longer boot. Is this still an issue? That would really suck the appeal out of the system if replacing your CPU meant you had to reinstall the whole damned OS and applications. Reply
  • Rocket321 - Thursday, January 23, 2014 - link

    That's a very good point... The only thing I can think of would be to use a hyper visor - perhaps pre-installed on all the Razer HDD/SSD modules which would add a layer between the OS and hardware and would probably cause a performance hit. Either that or plan to reinstall your OS if you swap the mobo/cpu module. Reply
  • fokka - Thursday, January 23, 2014 - link

    if this problem still persists, i bet razor would just offer a registration service to conveniently reactivate windows. i don't think windows would do anything differently and i also doubt they would implement another another layer between win and razor-bios. Reply
  • Death666Angel - Thursday, January 23, 2014 - link

    Win 7 and 8 are much cooler regarding motherboard exchanges. They will start up fine most of the time (especially if it is a direct update from one Intel chipset to another Intel one or the same with AMD). But you should always do a clean install, because while it will boot, it might not run stable or have unexpected results (low SATA/USB transfer rates for example). Reply
  • MrSpadge - Thursday, January 23, 2014 - link

    It is a nice idea with many pratical hurdles. However, if they build up this infrastructure and especially the interconnects, they could be used in other form factors too. Like in some big box with large and quiet fans, using those modules without Razer's cases. For example attaching a few external GPUs in practical boxes to a more regular PC via these interconnects. Reply
  • PEJUman - Thursday, January 23, 2014 - link

    I see this slightly differently, IMHO Razer is thinking about turning into gaming version of apple. There are numerous boutique builders out there, but they are still less mainstream than apple, meaning there is a certain technical knowledge required to properly interact with them.

    Razer modules & subsriptions based system seems to point towards color coded / level based hardware.

    let's say that they have 2 main bases (custom motherboards: latchless memory connectors, latchless CPU, etc) one with Zx7 series another with Xx9 series chipset.
    label one tier 1 the other tier 2.

    then a customer with tier 1 subs will get tier 1 GPUs, tier 1 CPU - Mem, tier 1 cooling modules, etc.

    when a new GPU is released, everyone at tier 1 gets their updates, the old parts goes back and becomes tier 2 new modules.

    Since it's a subcription, it does not matter if the modules are new/used (think comcast), Razer will replace them free of charge if/when it breaks.

    then the final piece would be razer specific software that would install drivers, custom 3D profiles, etc. So all the games would be 'fire and forget' and the settings are properly optimized by Razer's engineers prior to the update release.

    I can see Razer market is as:
    Tier 1: 4K - 45 FPS gaming on all latest releases, new modules within 2 weeks of AMD/Nvidia launch.
    Tier 2: 1080p - 60 FPS gaming on all latest release, new modules within 6 weeks behind tier 1 launch.
    Tier 3: we just want your money, you can have this razer sticker... JK
    Reply
  • nerd1 - Thursday, January 23, 2014 - link

    EVERY desktops are already modular and why do we need this at all? Reply
  • Aries1470 - Sunday, January 26, 2014 - link

    I guess, just saying...
    "This is for your average Tom, Dick & Harry, you can now add a new HDD / SSD, have your contents AUTOMATICALLY copied over with our auto detect software, an then remove your old drive and return it to us, 'without ever using a screw driver'(TM). Do you want to replace your graphics? Simple, our modules come with an 'Auto driver update detect'(tm), as soon as you plug it in, our system receives the driver from the module and automatically updates it the next time you connect to the "net". (internet is optional).".

    I can go on.... ;-)
    Reply
  • An00bis - Saturday, February 01, 2014 - link

    wow, that's so sexist, why did they only mention male names? Reply
  • LB-ID - Thursday, January 23, 2014 - link

    NetFRAME pioneered this approach with their servers back in the early 90's, so it's not a new idea by any stretch. Still all in all an awesome concept that I hope can be made workable and affordable. Reply
  • RoninX - Thursday, January 23, 2014 - link

    I'd like to see an open standard for a PCI-E backplane with CPU/chipset boards that can be easily replaced.

    Right now, it's easy to upgrade a GPU in a desktop, but a total pain-in-the-ass to upgrade the CPU and motherboard.

    At the same time, while I love Razer's products and design, I'm not entirely comfortable with having to rely on a single vendor for proprietary modules when building or upgrading a PC.
    Reply
  • CaedenV - Thursday, January 23, 2014 - link

    A few things I noticed:
    1) There is a CPU/RAM module in the pictures, so it is likely replaceable, but you would not be able to upgrade the RAM separate from the CPU. Possibly an issue there... but if these things are coming with 16-32GB of ram then I don't see it being a big deal.
    2) If the motherboard is in the CPU/RAM module, then most likely an upgrade of this unit would also upgrade the motherboard/chipset/PCIe Revision/Etc. If the front and rear IO ports for USB/TB are actuial PCIe cards and not mere risers, then it means that the motherboard/chipset could be heavily paired down and simplified... but it would also mean that it would make for some expensive IO modules.
    3) On the website there are some pictures clearly showing a reservoir in the PSU unit, meaning that this is probably where the pump could be living as well. If the PSU is liquid cooled as well then there would be no particular need for a fan anywhere in the system.
    4) While I have not built one (yet!) I have done quite a bit of research on doing a mineral oil PC, and it is a very different beast compared to other forms of water cooling. To start with, it distributes heat very easily throughout the fluid, which means that it does not need a whole lot of fluid movement to transfer heat from the source to the radiator. Secondly, because mineral oil is non-conductive, it allows for much more flexible radiator designs. Typically the surface area of the container (traditionally a fish tank) is enough to dissipate the heat of a fairly powerful system. Metal is much better at heat transference than a plastic/plexi fish tank... and there is a lot of surface area in the design of this unit... so I would wager that the entire rig becomes the radiator with no need at all for any fans in the system, and only minimal need for a pump to help with a little active heat removal from parts like the CPU and GPU units. Lastly, because of the heat spreading nature of mineral oil, the entire system runs at the same temperature. This means that if your GPUs are putting out a bunch of heat, then the whole system will reach peak temperatures. But with metalic modules, and so much surface area, it would probably never get more than mildly warm to the touch. Maybe 35-40*c?
    5) The control module is the really interesting bit to me. Is this merely a fancy interface for the BIOS/UEFI on the CPU module? Or does the Bios/UEFI live separate from the motherboard? Either would be interesting, and it looks amazing!

    The whole thing looks pretty amazing. Probably too expensive for me to get even if it ever does come out, but still a very neat idea that I would be interested to see come into reality.
    Reply
  • CaedenV - Thursday, January 23, 2014 - link

    Another possibility, which I cannot quite tell from the pictures, is that the custom ports on the front of the device could be very different from the ports on the back of the device. This could allow the ports for the front facing pods to be passthroughs for things like motherboard IO and SATA ports, while the rear facing pods would be pure PCIe. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, January 24, 2014 - link

    The front ports don't provide as much power, but it's not clear what sort of PCIe interface goes to the front vs. back -- they all look the same, so probably physical PCIe x16 but with different lane allocations. This is one of the questions we couldn't get an answer to (yet). Reply
  • Shadowmaster625 - Friday, January 24, 2014 - link

    The CPU is probably mounted onto a COM Express module. If so then its not really a modular system. It's just a typical pc with a "somewhat" external gpu and an undoubtedly outrageous price tag. Reply
  • Aries1470 - Sunday, January 26, 2014 - link

    Ok, her goes my observation and comments and ramblings etc.
    It looks like the tower has front and rear entry points.
    From top to bottom we have:
    Handle.
    Empty <-> BD RE
    GPU 01 <-> CTRL
    GPU 02 <-> 2 in 1 connected with CTRL
    GPU 03 <-> SSD 01
    CPU RAM <-> SSD 02
    Empty <-> FRONT IO
    REAR IO <-> AUDIO
    PSU / WATER COOLING With a level indicator Full / Empty
    There seem to be 2 liquid connectors, of which one would be an entry, and the other the exit point. Then some proprietary connectors.
    Option to select operating system. Touch screen selection?

    Now having looked at the pictures, it does look like it is still in the prototype stage, since personally I would not like the square connector, especially if it was to tip over/ get knocked over by a pet or someone, the connectors would probably bend.

    Personally, I would have chosen an optical bus, and there are a couple out there already, but for convenience, it could be the Intel / Apple lightning bus instead of the copper version, or have PCIe or riser, maybe with a proprietary connector for the ‘block’, and external SATA for HDD/SSD drives, as that would lower cost. Have assigned locations for each type of block, or some interchangeable ones too. If the video cards are to be in SLI etc, then there could be a flap and connector available at the rear with a flexi-cable connector.

    Now, since the width is around 6 in, this is from the 1st image that houses the 5 ¼ in BD drive bay, there can easily be a housing that would have 4 – 2 ½ in drives in it for raid etc.

    Each module, contains its own mineral oil, so when the system is powered down, it can be removed or added, without affecting the rest of the system. I think this is already the case.

    As for adding more memory to a system, that can be easily addressed, with a slide in locking mechanism, that also contains a smaller connector for the mineral oil and snaps in to place. So the memory issue is the easiest ;-) plus it can be at any location needed, and it would make the CPU / RAM module look cool too. The benefit is to this approach, that only tested and approved modules can be sold, that have been tested for the motherboards, and can have a notch / connector slightly different so they can not be used on the wrong type of board.

    Any way, I have made a comment elsewhere, so I might include my “slogans” here too :-) :
    Aries1470 - Sunday, January 26, 2014 - link
    I guess, just saying...
    "This is for your average Tom, Dick & Harry, you can now add a new HDD / SSD, have your contents AUTOMATICALLY copied over with our auto detect software, an then remove your old drive and return it to us, 'without ever using a screw driver'(TM). Do you want to replace your graphics? Simple, our modules come with an 'Auto driver update detect'(tm), as soon as you plug it in, our system receives the driver from the module and automatically updates it the next time you connect to the "net". (internet is optional).".

    I can go on.... ;-)"
    Reply
  • bestguyever - Wednesday, February 05, 2014 - link

    You guys can bash it all you want it doesn't change the fact that this is much more innovative than the new Mac Pro. If Jonathon Ive created this everyone would be saying how innovative it is and how only Apple could create such a unique design. I think it's a great idea that will never make it to market because razor doesn't have the money, marketing or millions of brainless fans that see it as their duty to buy whatever they make. Reply

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