What's wrong with eMachines?

Build a PC
By wirm
Jan 31, 2006
  1. Hiya fellas :unch: ,

    my brother is shopping around for a new computer, and someone suggested one of the eMachines lineup. I took a look at the 6420 series:

    AMD Athlon™ 64 processor 3400+;
    DL DVD±RW/CD-RW drive;
    200GB hard drive;
    1GB PC3200 DDR memory;
    Windows XP Media Center 2005;
    8-in-1 media manager

    It's a heck of a lot better than my Dell 2400. I figure he can put a decent video card into that PCI-e slot, and maybe add a little bit of RAM in the future.

    Granted, people seem to say that building the PC yourself is a better deal, but seriously, what's wrong with that setup? I can't put together something like that for $600. Not to mention the finger-burning, wire-poking, and general confusion that would ensue if I ever tried to build a computer myself.

    I can understand why some people might be unhappy with Dell. I know I regret not having AGP or PCI-e or even a decent power supply. And the fact that there's only room for one hard drive in the case pisses me off too. But I don't see any weak points in the computer listed above.

    Can someone enlighten me?

    thanks :wave:
  2. LipsOfVenom

    LipsOfVenom TS Rookie Posts: 256

    there's nothing wrong with that specification for only $600. Add a $300 graphix card and a new power supply for $60 then you have a very nice system for....about $1000, which is what my PC cost. Some people don't like the cases that dell/emachines give, and the expansion possibilities aren't all the great. Also the brand of the components are probably not top notch....but then again, I'm using corsair value memory, so I can't say much. But other than case, Power supply, and size, there's nothing wrong.
  3. Athena

    Athena TS Rookie Posts: 69

    I have used and purchased many E-machines over the years and they have all worked great. Just remember what you are buying is not a Falcon Northwest and you will be happy.

    FYI E-machine is now owned and operated by Gateway. Why did Gateway buy them you may wonder? E-Machine was rated the highest in initial build quality, meaning lowest number of defects in a new PC. Their attitude was tht it is cheaper to build a high quality PC so you do not have to pay for tech support. The down side was those few people that did get a messed up PC had to wait on the phone for ever to get help.
  4. hewybo

    hewybo TS Maniac Posts: 570


    In my (newbie, non-knowledgeable, self-trained, iggernut) opinion:

    The Yugo was most certainly a car.

    The e-Machines is certainly a computer. :)
  5. wirm

    wirm TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 91

    eMachines definitely sounds like a good option then. I had been afraid that there was some common knowledge about why their computers sucked, and I just hadn’t heard it. My family doesn’t really care about how cases look, or what name-brand the parts are, as long as they work right.

    If I put in a $150 graphics card and a $60 power supply (if necessary), that build looks like it would run today’s games just fine.

  6. iss

    iss TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,896

    Rated by whom?

    Emachines were garbage before gateway bought them and from what I have seen they still are. they use trigem motherboards which are cutrate shoddy mobos built with substandard parts.

    Dell at least uses qulity parts. I agree with hewybo, comparing a emachine to a dell or even a home built computer built with quality parts is like comparing a yugo to a rolls royce.

    And I have owned BOTH a dell and a Emachine, both purchased over 6 years ago. the dell is still running smoothly. the emachine quit working a long time ago. and was a nightmare to even do simple upgrades with.
  7. wirm

    wirm TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 91

    Now this is interesting.

    Anything specific I need to watch out for? You mentioned the motherboard. Do you mean that it fails after a certain amount of time? :blackeye:

    As for upgrading, I'm guessing you mean that the case is not well designed.
  8. iss

    iss TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,896

    What is wrong with the motherboards is what is wrong with ANYTHING that is made as cheaply as possible. ie; substandard quality. corners are cut in its design and execution and lesser parts are utilized. this means it may work or it may fail at any given time.

    Emacnies and compaq have had reputations for low quality for some time. it is not a coincidence that they both use trigem motherboards.
  9. hewybo

    hewybo TS Maniac Posts: 570


    Just as a point of information- the Compaq I bought in Oct 2004, had an extremely stable, highly upgradeable mobo from MicroStar International (MSI).
    NOT exactly garage-sale level. :confused:
  10. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 10,079   +14

    you get what you pay for.

    It would be far better to build a computer yourself. Not only do you learn a lot, but it's cheaper also.
  11. AJtheIrishLass

    AJtheIrishLass TS Rookie Posts: 38

    I've never owned an emachine PC, but have used one at a family member's office a few times. It ran fine for what I was doing, but I think that, due to the price, it might be a bit inexpensively made.
  12. iss

    iss TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,896

    well good for compaq if they finally stopped using trigem boards. Not everyone dislikes compaq's and emachines. computer repair shops love them, they keep the cash flow steady on the repair side of the business. :haha:
  13. wirm

    wirm TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 91

    I hear this a lot around here, but I just don't see how it's possible to build your own computer to match the prices of the ones pre-built by companies.
    Please keep in mind that I've never built one myself and am not completely up to date on prices, so I may exaggerate a bit.

    Motherboard - $50
    Athlon 64 3400 - $150
    1 GB PC3200 DDR RAM - $80
    200 GB HD - $100
    DVDR/CDRW - $60
    Case/PSU - $40? (hehe)
    Windows XP - $200
    Keyboard/Mouse - $20
    8-In-1 Media Card - $20
    I don't know anything about hard drive controller cards. Are they necessary with just 1 internal HD?

    Without shipping/handling, that adds up to well over $600. I know I can shave off a bit by shopping around, but how much lower can it get? If I bought the eMachines, Compaq, HP or Dell it might even come bundled with a monitor.

    I definitely agree that building your own computer must feel great. I also don't mind the shopping around too much (within reason). But I don't see how it can be cheaper too.
  14. AJtheIrishLass

    AJtheIrishLass TS Rookie Posts: 38

    In my case, it wouldn't be too bad as I already own the monitor, keyboard, mouse, and operating system. If you don't have these things already, I'm sure that could get a bit pricier. I've been thinking of building a computer for a family member that uses his to play games a lot. Is building a computer terribly difficult, assuming you're using a "barebones" kit? I'm one of those types that usually ends up doing a fair amount of cussing :evil: over installing a hard drive or RAM.
  15. hewybo

    hewybo TS Maniac Posts: 570

    many considerations

    It depends on many factors- what will be pre-installed on the "barebones?" What games will be played? Does the barebones have a decent PSU? CPU?

    You seem familiar with the inside of the case- the build is not too hard, really. It's just a matter of being sure what you start with will be adequate to the purpose.. some of the smart guys around here can point you in the right direction, if you can say what you'd like to end up with, capability. That's why it's important to know what, and what levels of, games will be used.

    I just say it's not too difficult, because I touched my first computer just over a year ago, and thanks to sites like this, and Google, etc., I've built two from scratch.

    Not much help, I know, but you can do it. :knock:
  16. wirm

    wirm TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 91

    Since I've never built a computer, you should take my suggestions with a grain of salt ;)

    But barebones kits seem kind weird to me. Most of them have funky shaped cases that are really small. Others probably come with questionable parts. My own main concern about building a computer is the warrantee and the fact that OEM computers are guaranteed to work when you get them. I'm deathly afraid of plugging the power supply into the wrong hole and blowing myself to hell.

    If I could find a decent (and cheap :stickout: ) barebones kit with motherboard and main wiring already done, I'd be all over it.
  17. loupegarou

    loupegarou TS Rookie Posts: 47


    Rated by whom?

    Emachines were garbage before gateway bought them and from what I have seen they still are. they use trigem motherboards which are cutrate shoddy mobos built with substandard parts.

    Dell at least uses qulity parts. I agree with hewybo, comparing a emachine to a dell or even a home built computer built with quality parts is like comparing a yugo to a rolls royce.

    And I have owned BOTH a dell and a Emachine, both purchased over 6 years ago. the dell is still running smoothly. the emachine quit working a long time ago. and was a nightmare to even do simple upgrades with.

    I worked for best buy and an independent computer shop plus i do my own sidework.

    Emachines most assuredly did not suck before they were bought out. If anything they suck because gateway bought them.
    Dells suck too. We are an almost all dell location. 1000 of em (workstations not counting servers). And they regularly bite the dust. In fact gx270s bad capatisors cause them to act up and you have to replace all the mobos. Bad PS in these. Gx110 Craptactular hard drives and ALL DELL machines are B1tchy about what memory you put in them.

    By an emachine. Love it. If you have issues it would probably still be cheaper than buying the parts seperatly.
    Ok the mobo is cheap.
    Buy a new mobo and use all the other parts.
  18. Raven Master

    Raven Master TS Rookie

    I have to agree I also repair computers and as far as dell goes In my opinion ..the only good thing about Dell is the Advertising campaign they run everyone who has me repair the dells are usually extremely unhappy that they wasted the money on them and the laptop quality isnt any better either
  19. JohnK93

    JohnK93 TS Rookie Posts: 70

    I just built my first computer. It wasn't very difficult, but I spent months researching before I decided to go for it. I realized that, in the end, I could have gotten a computer for a cheaper price, but not the computer I built. To buy a computer comprable to what I built (a moderate-high end gaming machine with fairly high quality parts) would have ended up costing me more off the shelf.

    But the main reason I built my own was to get the knowledge of my computer. When you buy off the shelf, you don't really know what's in it and the quality of the componants. When you piece it together yourself, you decide what goes in it, so you know what you're getting and what it's capabilities are. If you want an Intel machine with average parts, maybe off the shelf is OK, but if you want AMD, or a better video card, or additional SATA or USB ports, or a different OS or virus protection than what is offered off the shelf, you might be better off building it. Once you customize an off the shelf to what you REALLY want, did you save any $$?

    Just my thoughts...good luck!

  20. Ressurrector

    Ressurrector TS Rookie Posts: 45

    Amen to this.... Since I fell victum to the e-machines fried mobo curse I have to draw a bias and tell folks what junk they really are.......LEAVE them alone.... there junk and prone to die prematurely but don't take my word live n learn......... And even ona good day when it ran it didn't hold a candle to a self made machine of equal or EVEN lesser specs.

    You been warned.....
  21. halo71

    halo71 TS Rookie Posts: 1,289

    Wirm, I would not buy an eMachines if I were you! Hell, just do a search for them on this site. You will see hundreds of post about dead PSU's, Mobo's etc. Compaq is/was a lower quality brand. But I have had better luck personally out of their machines than really anything else of the years. I wouldn't buy anything from Best Buy either! I won't even go into the horrors of their PC salesmen that I have experieced recently. You'd be better off building your own PC or having a PC store build it for you I think.
  22. nickslick74

    nickslick74 TS Rookie Posts: 883

    Um, wirm hasn't even posted on the boards since July 06 so I'm guessing he has gotten/built a new computer by now!
  23. halo71

    halo71 TS Rookie Posts: 1,289 bad...just seen where Resurector replied to an old post, I didn't catch that.
  24. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,627   +1,132

    Well Now,Really?

    According to to the thread log it is more like 2/02/2007. Unless that means July of 2006. you're the expert.
  25. kitty500cat

    kitty500cat TS Rookie Posts: 2,407   +6

    Actually, 2/06.
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