eMachines T6520 Media Center PC review: eMachines T6520 Media Center PC

On the outside of the T6520, you'll also find lots to get excited about: a double-layer DVD burner, a 48X CD-ROM drive, and an 8-in-1 flash-card reader on the front panel, along with a full complement of ports around back. Although the eMachines T6520 Media Center PC provides seven USB 2.0 ports (with three up front), you get but one six-pin FireWire port (located on the back panel).

The price of our review system included the 15-inch eMachines E15T4 LCD monitor, a bright, if small, display with a native 1,024x768 resolution and an intuitive OSD menu with side-mounted buttons. While the graphics chip inside the T6520 can drive a big monitor at resolutions up to 2,048x1,536, the video fidelity was lacking. We found DVD playback grainy, although at least it didn't drop frames or create a jerky image.

As its name implies, the eMachines T6520 Media Center PC uses Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 (MCE), which is unusual for sub-$1,000 systems; however, eMachines doesn't include a TV tuner and a remote control, as you'd find in higher-end Media Center systems. The argument here is that MCE offers plenty of other functionality, such as photo management and DVD controls, that makes it worth its relatively small additional cost. You can always add the other elements later if you wish. Unfortunately, the T6520 ships with a pair of flimsy stereo speakers that sound as lightweight as they feel. The functional but unremarkable Internet keyboard and the three-button USB mouse share the black-and-silver design motif of the tower box, which adds to the T6520's aesthetically pleasing image.

eMachines includes the Microsoft Works 8.0 productivity suite, Microsoft Money 2005 accounting software, and a 30-day subscription to Norton Internet Security 2005 antivirus software, among other workaday titles. You also get a standard one-year warranty and some bare-bones documentation. You can upgrade the warranty directly through the company--two years runs you $99, and a three-year warranty goes for $139. eMachines also throws in free phone support for the life of the warranty, although the call is not toll-free. Support hours run from 5 a.m. to midnight PT, seven days a week.

Application performance
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
BAPCo's SysMark 2004 rating  
SysMark 2004 Internet-content-creation rating  
SysMark 2004 office-productivity rating  

Unreal Tournament 2003 Flyby-Antalus demo (in fps)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
1,024x768 with no antialiasing and no anisotropic filtering  

Find out more about how we test desktop systems.

System configurations:
eMachines T6520 Media Center PC
Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005; 2.4GHz AMD Athlon 64 3400+; ATI Radeon RS480 chipset; 1,024MB DDR SDRAM 400MHz; integrated ATI Radeon Xpress 200 graphics chip using 128MB shared memory; Seagate ST320021A 200GB 7,200rpm ATA/100

Gateway 5310S
Windows XP Home SP2; 3.06GHz Intel Pentium 4 519; Intel 915GV chipset; 512MB DDR SDRAM 400MHz; integrated Intel 915GV graphics chip using 128MB shared memory; Seagate ST3160023AS 160GB 7,200rpm Serial ATA

iBuyPower Value-Pro
Windows XP Home SP2; 2.2GHz AMD Athlon 64 3500+; Nvidia Nforce-4 chipset; 1,024MB DDR SDRAM 400MHz; 256MB Nvidia GeForce 6200 TurboCache PCI Express; Western Digital WD1600JD-98HBB0 160GB 7,200rpm Serial ATA

Shuttle XPC K6200h
Windows XP Home SP2; 2.8GHz Intel Celeron D 335; ATI 9100IGP chipset; 512MB DDR SDRAM 400MHz; integrated ATI 9100 graphics chip using 128MB shared memory; Western Digital WD1600JB-00GVA0 160GB 7,200rpm EIDE

ZT Group Pro A7055
Windows XP Home SP2; 2.4GHz AMD Athlon 64 3400+; Via K8T800 chipset; 512MB DDR SDRAM 400MHz; 128MB Nvidia GeForce4 MX 400 AGP; Western Digital WD2000JB-00GVC0 200GB 7,200rpm EIDE

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    eMachines T6520 Media Center PC

    Part Number: T6520 Released: Jun 23, 2005
    Pricing is currently unavailable.

    Quick Specifications See All

    • Release date Jun 23, 2005
    • Graphics Processor ATI Radeon Xpress 200 shared video memory (UMA)
    • Capacity 1 x 200 GB
    • Color black
      silver
    • OS Provided Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005
    • Monitor Type None.