eMachines - thoughts, opinions?

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iantm's picture
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Lately, I've been playing with my fiancee's old computer - an eMachines T2042. Ever since I got her an iBook, she hardly uses it. It's a pretty decent windows box, 2.0 ghz celeron, 40gb hard drive, dvd-rom and cdrw (separate drives), and an anemic 128 mb of RAM (32-64mb of which is allocated to video). Using XP on it was an excercise in futility at first. Fortunately, I was able to snag another 128 mb stick of pc2100 ram, and it seems much more responsive.

Though, I must admit that, eMachines has come a long long way since the early Celeron based machines I did some work on back in 98-99. It's just amazing to see eMachines reach a level of fit and finish that's pretty impressive, considering the price point. I'll admit that the shared video ram and lack of agp slots are a bit of a bummer, but what can one really expect from a "budget" pc. Since eMachines didn't actually design or make the board, I can't hold that against them (dell, gateway/emachines, compaq/hp, etc) all seem to use the same internals anyway. I wouldn't trade my mac for an eMachines, but I wouldn't begrudge them.

Does anyone else have opinions on eMachines, be it good or bad?

- iantm

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- iantm
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Joined: Dec 20 2003
Posts: 851
Cheap PC's are so absurdly po

Cheap PC's are so absurdly powerful these days it's hard to begrudge any of them short of gaming performance.

BTW: XP is pretty useless with under 512MB of RAM.

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Reverend Darkness's picture
Joined: Dec 20 2003
Posts: 502
I have no problem endorsing eMachines...

...as a matter of fact, I just ordered an eMachines for my wife for her birthday to replace the eMachines we got for her birthday six years ago.

I have always been skeptical of certain manufacturers, but this eMachines box has held it's own for six years of abuse. And I have used enough Compaq, HP, and Sony machines to know that they have a higher failure rate than eMachines*.

I say, if you increase the RAM, you're lookin at a good, basic machine. Just don't try any hardcore gaming...

(* This statement based upon my own practical experience, and not done with any scientific accuracy. I have worked with about 100 different "wintel" machines from different manufacturers over the last eight or nine years.)

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Joined: Dec 20 2003
Posts: 354
They didn't screw me out of the rebate

I'm using an eMachines 15" LCD monitor. Not only has it been just fine, they actually came through with the $100 rebate!

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coius's picture
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Knowing from experience

eMachines have become more reliable than any other PC out there. I have worked on Dells, Sony's, HP's, Compaq's, and others as well as eMachines.

I have had about 1 emachines to every 30 of the others that I have had to fix. Sony's seem to be worse than Compaqs at some times. Mainly, they give you a lot of bang for your buck, but these are all cheap parts. That's why you think you are getting a top of the line PC. Granted that Sony makes their boards and stuff, but the CPU is the only Reliable part out of the whole machine. And that's because it is made OEM from Intel.
As far as laptops, I seem to have had a good experience with Dell's, but Compaq's are as worse as they come. Those things are cheap @$$ stuff. And don't get me started on HP. The most common components on those to go out, are the PSU's. then the HDD's.

IBM's are the best machines hand-down, but they cost quite a bit, and they are plain looking. but who cares? Those things at least won't shatter when you sneeze. Apple is rated on par with the IBM's. It's the IBM of the "Alternate" Computer World, and their reliability is rated of that.

But nothing can be as good as Home-built PC's. At least you know what is going in there. If you don't want a bad component in there that you know will break once you boot it up, then don't buy it. It's as simple as that. And since you do the building, then you also do the maintnance, and that is better than sending it to someone who will charge you $200 for a $39 part with Just labour alone. And you don't end up paying for windows (unless you want it) and you don't pay for the extra software that you don't use.

I built my machine with New and Used parts for less than $200. It works great, and it suits my needs. I love working on it (even though I have to use windows 2k for my work) and it allows me to run any OS I want on it. And since it's AMD, I can overclock it, and the board allows me to do as such, especially since Intel P4's cannont be clocked.

All in all, eMachines have come a long way from what they are, And I would rate them as a more reliable PC than the rest.

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Joined: May 30 2005
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e-machines

I will have to agree on the e-machines being more reliable than any other manifacturer out there. Having been a Pc guy for 20yrs before making the switch to Mac. (Best move I ever made). I used to repair PCs and Dell, HP and to many others to list just did not stand up as well as the e-machine.

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Jon
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My father in law had to repla

My father in law had to replace the PS in their old eM Celeron400 machine last year. I think I still have the old one around here, with the original internal MiniATX PS fan that was just stuck through the opening of the PS after having it's corner tabs broken off. I can't convince him to get rid of Win98 on the thing, so it crashes all the time, but it's still running the original install we copied off the original drive onto a new 80GB drive at the same time we did the PS. He doesn't seem to believe that the reason he couldn't get the 80GB drive working at first was that he forced the IDE cable on backwards. Luckily nothing broke...

For what it is, it runs fine. They bought it durning that period when you cold get the $400 or so rebate if you signed up for Prodigy for 3-4 years. I wonder how many of those near-scammed machines are still running ok?

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Joined: Nov 27 2005
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Ugh, eMachines...hate...hate.

Ugh, eMachines...hate...hate...hate...hate...hate...HATE them. I don't need to say anything more on that. IBM or HP are the only PCs I'll touch, though that sort of thing is rare. You know which platform is better when my iMac 266 (strawberry with a 10gig HD, 160mb RAM and OS 10.3.5) is so much faster and waay more efficient than my mother's 2.8ghz P4 Sony Vaio desktop replacement with 512mb of RAM and 7200RPM 40gig HD running windows XP.

That's life.

Reverend Darkness's picture
Joined: Dec 20 2003
Posts: 502
Re: Ugh, eMachines...hate...hate.

MochaMacintosh wrote:

You know which platform is better when my iMac 266 (strawberry with a 10gig HD, 160mb RAM and OS 10.3.5) is so much faster and waay more efficient than my mother's 2.8ghz P4 Sony Vaio desktop replacement with 512mb of RAM and 7200RPM 40gig HD running windows XP.

Uh... you're exagerating, right? Unless the Sony is infected with spyware, adware, and virii, there's no way that it's slower than a G3 266 running OS X...

...unless it's acting as a webserver, streaming video server, and your mother is playing DOOM3 all at the same time....

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[quote]I have had about 1 ema

Quote:

I have had about 1 emachines to every 30 of the others that I have had to fix.

Quote:

(* This statement based upon my own practical experience, and not done with any scientific accuracy.

Though from different posters, these are important to note. We shouldn't confuse anecdotal evidence with real statistics. Considering eMachine's market share, it's entirely possible that if you see 1 out of 30 in a repair shop it might mean that it's *less* reliable than other brands- it all depends on how many people in your area own eMachines vs. other brands. But it's hard to know, since the most recent results I found through Google lump eMachines with Gateway. Which comes in at a measly 5 percent, not much higher than the 3.3 percent that 1 out of 30 implies. Unless someone can point to some hard survey stats, I say the jury's out on reliability.

But it's entirely fair to say that they represent a good value in their category.

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coius's picture
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[quote]EMachines Steals the S

Quote:

EMachines Steals the Show

Talk about a turnaround: In previous surveys, asking EMachines owners about their PCs' reliability usually elicited tales of woe from respondents. In our latest report, its overall rating is Good. In fact, the company grabs the number one spot on several reliability and service measures. For instance, EMachines respondents experienced the lowest percentage of problems when they first turned on their PCs--just over 2 percent (our survey average was almost 5 percent). On the service side, 77 percent of EMachines customers reported their service issues being resolved within five days--a sharp uptick from its score of 58 percent the last time around. (Note: In this story, all results for EMachines relate to its desktop PCs. The company began selling notebooks again at around the time our survey was fielded.)

What has changed at EMachines? Greg Memo, the company's executive vice president, reports that in the past year it introduced a new chassis design that enables users to replace parts themselves more easily. EMachines also beefed up its Web-based support, by adding new content to answer customers' questions. The company has introduced interactive chat capabilities with technical support reps, too.

Like Andrea Jaffrey, Glen Ashman has had a generally positive experience with his EMachines computer. Ashman, an attorney based in Atlanta, owns PCs from several different companies, including ones from Compaq and HP. "This is probably the most trouble-free PC I've owned," says Ashman of his EMachines Etower 500is. The downside to his story? He can't say similarly complimentary things about his non-EMachines computers.

How 'bout the PC World reliablity report?

http://www.pcworld.com/reviews/article/0,aid,112915,pg,8,00.asp

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That's good, except I find it

That's good, except I find it maddening that in the article it mentions specific stats but when you go to view the results it's all watered down to "good", "fair", "outstanding", etc. Since so much of a survey's meaning is in the method, it makes it harder to find any possible faults. But they've certainly improved. Good for them.

Maybe budget PCs, since they aren't trying to use state of the art technology and speeds, are less prone to problems?

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eMachines - Surprising Me Too

I was surprised this weekend to see my girlfriend's brother - who's a pretty hardcore programmer - running Solaris on a widescreen notebook made by... eMachines.

They've definitely come a long way in terms of fit and finish. And to judge by his opinion, they're top-quality machines in pretty much every way now.

Matt