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The eMachines T6532 PC: Big Bang, Little Bucks

June 21, 2006

Lately, I've been on the hunt for a cheap, yet meaty, workhorse PC that could serve as a replacement for a couple of aging PCs at home and work -- a PC that has the chops to do everyday multitasking, can double as a media PC, and has some upgrade options in case I wanted to tinker (like add more graphics umph, etc.). I'm willing to reuse  monitors, possibly speakers and keyboards, so this would also keep the price down.

My research took me to all the likely suspects: Dell, Gateway, HP, etc., and to many other second tier vendors: then I stumbled on eMachines -- the in-store brand that CompuUSA, Circuit City and Best Buy stocks (and, fyi, that is also owned by Gateway), and I came away very impressed by the package:

The T6532 is currently on sale for $549 at CompUSA (with a $50 rebate), and includes what might be the best value out there for the money (if you know of a better deal, please -- I'm all ears!) Notable features include AMD Athlon 64 3500+processor, 1 Gb SDRAM, 200 Gb 7200 RPM HD, double Layer DVD+/-RW Drive, Windows XP Media Edition, nVidia® GeForce® 6100 graphics, and 9-in-1 Digital Media Card Reader (no floppy drive), and 5 USB 2.0 ports. For upgrades, there a freePCI Express x16 slot open for a graphics card, and 2 DIMM slots open for more memory.

Here are the PC's full specs:

Processor Brand: AMD
Processor Class: Athlon 64
Processor Number: 3500+
Processor Speed: 2.2 GHz
Bus Speed: 2.0 GHz
L2 Cache Size: 512 KB
Memory Speed: PC-3200 (400MHz)
Memory Technology: DDR-SDRAM
Installed Memory: 1 GB
Maximum Memory: 4 GB
Memory Slots Total: 4
Memory Slots Available: 2
Hard Drive Capacity: 200 GB
Drive Controllers: IDE (Ultra ATA/DMA)
Rotational Speed: 7200 RPM
Optical Drives: Double Layer DVD+/-RW Drive:
Create a Double Layer DVD+R at a maximum 4X Write speed
Create a DVD-R at a maximum 16X Write speed or a maximum 6X Rewrite speed
Create a DVD+R at a maximum 16X Write speed or a maximum 8X Rewrite speed
Play a DVD at a maximum 16X Read speed
Create a CD-Rom at a maximum 40X Write speed
Create a CD-RW at a maximum 24X Rewrite speed
Play a CD-Rom at a maximum 40X Read speed

Card Slots: 1 x CompactFlash Card
1 x MicroDrive
1 x Memory Stick
1 x Memory Stick Pro
1 x SmartMedia Card
1 x Secure Digital(SD)/MMC
1 x xD-Picture Card
Sound Support: 6 Channel Premium Audio
Video Chipset Brand: NVIDIA
Video Chipset: GeForce 6100
Video Bus: PCI Express x16
Video Integration: Motherboard
Shared Video RAM (Max): 128 MB
Monitor Included: No
Port Connectors: 5 x USB 2.0 (1 in Digital Media Reader, 4 in back)
1 x VGA External Connector
1 x Parallel
2 x PS/2 (Keyboard and Mouse)
1 x RJ-11 Modem
1 x RJ-45 Ethernet LAN
5 x Audio (2 in front, 3 in back)

PCI Slots: 2
PCI Express x1 Slots: 1
PCI Express x16 Slots: 1
Slots Notes: 1 PCI, 1 PCI Express x16 and 1 PCI Express x1 open

Additional Drives: DL DVD+/-RW
Expansion Bays: 4 x 3.5-inch and 2 x 5.25-inch total
2 x 3.5-inch and 1 x 5.25-inch available

Network Support: Ethernet (10/100 Mbps)
Modem Speed: 56 Kbps
Input Devices: Keyboard
2 Button Wheel Mouse
Installed Operating System: Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005
Microsoft Vista Capable: Yes
Included Software: Productivity Software:
Microsoft® Works 8.5
Microsoft® Money 2006
Microsoft® Encarta Online
Adobe® Acrobat® Reader 7
Digital Media Software:
CyberLink® PowerDVD™ (DVD Play)
CyberLink® Power2Go™ (DVD Burn)
Microsoft® Windows Media Player 10
RealNetworks RealPlayer®
eMachines Internet Security Bundle:
McAfee® Internet Security Suite™ (90-day complimentary subscription)
eMachines BigFix® –identifies and resolves problems that affect the system before they occur

In the Box: Hardware Items:
Premium Multimedia Keyboard
PS/2 2-Button Wheel Mouse
Amplified Stereo Speakers
Power Cord
Modem Cable
Operating System Recovery CD/DVD
Setup Poster
Getting Started Guide
Non-Microsoft EULA
Registration / Limited Warranty Card
COA Label for Microsoft® Installed Software
Online Documentation:
User’s Guide
eMachines Limited Warranty and EULA

Chassis Style: Tower (Mini)
Height: 14.3 in
Width: 7.3 in
Depth: 16.0 in
Weight: 22.5 lbs
Limited Warranty: 1 Year (12 Months)

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» eMachines Update from Beyond VoIP
It seems that as soon as I posted my "first take"on the eMachines T6532 PC, the company refreshed their product line and introduced a new "high-end" model, the T6536, and in keeping with their big bang value for the bucks... [More]

Tracked on June 26, 2006 1:16 PM

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