While it's hard to get enthused about budget PCs most of the time, we have a long-standing appreciation for eMachines, the retail-only sibling of computer giant Gateway. The highest-priced PC in its ever-changing lineup is usually less than $599 and offers enough firepower (1GB of RAM, open PCIe slot, and so on) to make it our budget system of choice.
On the other hand, the company seems to run through model numbers like crazy, and we'll never understand the up-and-down naming system--the T6524 was followed by the T6420, which was followed by the T6532.
Today, Gateway has announced four new eMachines systems, replacing the four current ones. The only one worth looking at is the top-of-the-line T6532, which redefines top-of-the-line by clocking in at $529 after a $50 rebate. For $500 and change, you get an AMD Athlon 64 3500+, 1GB of RAM, a DVD burner, and a generous 200GB hard drive.