eMachines W3502 (80 GB, Intel Celeron D, 3.2 GHz, 512 MB) Desktop - W3502

4 ratings (4 Epinions reviews)
Epinions Product Rating: Very Good
5 stars
1
4 stars
1
3 stars
1
2 stars
1
1 star
Share This!
  Ask friends for feedback

Affordable and Can be Upgraded to be a very fast PC

Oct 11, 2006 (Updated Nov 13, 2006)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review
  • User Rating: Excellent

  • Ease of Use:
  • Quality of Tech Support:

Pros:3.2ghz, video card, easily removeable cover, can hold 3.8ghz chip, Emachines online tech chat

Cons:bundled software, on-board video card driver faulty, 512mb RAM

The Bottom Line: Computer is stable, fast, solid, and reliable. Can be upgraded with lots of RAM and a fast CPU.


This computer is an affordable, but upgradeable, PC that may be purchased from Wal-Mart ($348) or other mass retailers. I found a new one in the box on Ebay and my bid brought me to about $301 and about $340 after shipping (saving $8 plus the shipping cost of Wal-Mart online or the sales tax if I were to have purchased it from my local Wal-Mart). You can find a lot of sellers on Ebay with brand-new in-the-box models to be bid on or sold below retail with the buy-it-now option. I bet you can find it for under $300 on EBAY.

The box is silver and white with blue power lights. There are two large silver screws on the right of the back of the box that allow you to remove the cover without a screwdriver, if you wish. The large screws are made to accomodate a phillips and flathead screwdriver.

Right out of the box it has 3.2ghz Celeron D processor. This is a very fast processor for most users. 512mb RAM is slow for me, but probably sufficiently quick enough for most people.

1. I immediately upgraded the RAM to 2gb to max out the memory capabilities. You can get deals on RAM via Ebay or from online retailers. It takes 184-pin PC3200 SDRAM. "High density" RAM will not work in this machine. XP yields a RAM rating of 1.85gb of RAM because the onboard video card consumes a proportion of the RAM. This vastly increases the performance of a computer, that is, increasing the RAM.

2. I used KILL DISK to wipe out the hard drive and then installed Windows XP Professional with SP2. This fresh install gets rid of all the useless bundled software (AOL, etc.) and allows me to optimize how I want the OS to run (Google XP Tweaks and there are websites with information on how to tweak XP to make it run quicker). I also installed Office 2003, spyware blaster, ad-aware, symantec corporate antivirus (free from my university), and mozilla firefox.

3. PRETTY IMPORTANT. Make sure to install the latest drivers for the on-board Radeon video card. The drivers it ships with (even using the original XP Home edition it ships with) are faulty.

Also, though not a problem for my model, if you buy one that was manufactured earlier, it may need the latest BIOS (available from Emachines' website). If you need help with this, Emachines has this online tech chat that I used to chat with a technician through an Instant Messenger and they are able to send you links to download drivers and they are also able to remotely work on your computer via a high-speed connection (I have DSL 1.5mbps).

4. The machine is stable and fast and the motherboard is built by Intel. Whatever Emachines reputation was in the past, I think they have vastly improved--this is my second good experience with an Emachines computer.

This is a great machine and when the transition to VISTA from XP starts, this model will not let you down.

FUTURE UPGRADES:

1. Going to install separate video card because the onboard video card uses some of the random access memory (RAM). This will improve speed and performance.

2. Planning on upgrading the DVD-ROM/CDRW to a DVDRW/CDRW which is available, currently, from Emachines for about $129. Will wait and see if any pop up on Ebay in the near future.

3. Biggie: Replace Celeron 'D' 3.2ghz CPU with a 3.8ghz Pentium 4 CPU--some online retailers sell them for less than $200 currently (Oct. 2006).

***UPDATES
A. In my case of upgrading to XP SP2 Professional I needed access to the on-board ATI Radeon XPress 200 driver. If you ever do a fresh install and are not using the Emachines Recovery CD (w/XP Home Edition) and you need the driver, it can be found here from ATI:

https://a248.e.akamai.net/f/674/9206/0/www2.ati.com/drivers/6-9-igp_xp-2k_dd_ccc_wdm_sb_gart_enu_35774.exe

Additionally, XP did not get the right driver for the on-board sound card, and that can be found at Intel's website, here:

http://downloadfinder.intel.com/scripts-df-external/T8Clearance.aspx?url=/7525/eng/AUD_ALLOS_5.10.0.5247_PV_REALTEK.EXE&agr=N&ProductID=2229&DwnldID=7525&lang=eng

B. I tried installing a separate video card, but to no avail. Not sure if it is a faulty video card unit, or a faulty model to begin with. The model was purchased off Ebay, a ATI Radeon 9200se 128mb "Game Buster" model. Installing a video card on this model is somewhat tricky.

Here are the steps involved:

1. Before installing new video card a) restart in safe mode (press F8 in during boot), b) start OS in safe mode, c) once logged in via Safe Mode go to control panel---->system----->hardware tab----->device manager---->click on + in front of display adapter until it shows a negative (-) sign, d) right click on on-board video in display section and make sure it says "disabled", e) click "Ok" through the warning screen, f) shut down computer

2. Physically install PCI video card or PCI-E video card in available slot (assuming you have not already used yours)

3. **Do not attach cable to new video card yet. Start up computer and boot into the BIOS by hitting F2 key when the emachines logo is visible. Once in BIOS move cursor to the advanced tab and scroll down to "Video Configuration", hit enter key, and set the "Default Primary Video Adapter" to PCI ext. Press F10, save changes, and exit. Shutdown computer

4. Now you can attach monitor cable to the new video card. Once in Windows, install the drivers for the new PCI video card.

****11/13/2006 update

Ok, I just did the CPU upgrade to the Pentium 4 3.8ghz 570J (I purchased the chip from www.compumusic.com OEM for $191.51--I'm not advertising, just telling you where I found the best price from a relatively reputable place...always check resellerratings.com when you buy things like this online and watch out for scam companies).

This thing smokes now (it's incredibly fast). To replace CPU, it is very simple. Unplug machine, remove side panel, remove four screws on the fan/heatsink, unplug fan from motherboard. Pull lever (with care) on bottom of CPU casing out and to the right. Carefully remove 3.2ghz Celeron D chip (sell it on EBAY or give it to someone). With computer box on its side, spread thermal compound on new Pentium 4 chip (not on the side w/terminal connectors!!!, but on silver side w/chip information printed on it), place into CPU casing (lining up correctly). Door of CPU casing will compress chip into motherboard and then return the lever on the bottom. Reinstall fan (four screws) and plug back into motherboard. Make sure fan is working. Start it up and you will have to do one reboot. Enjoy your new extremely fast computer!

My W3502 Emachines has the following specs

Original: 3.2ghz Celeron D, 512mb RAM, Win XP Home

After upgrades: 3.8ghz Pentium 4, 2gb RAM, Win XP Pro.

Fast and solid now.


Recommend this product? Yes


Amount Paid (US$): 301
Operating System: Windows
Processor: Intel Celeron
Processor speed: over 1000
RAM: More than 256
Internal Storage: CD-RW and DVD
Hard Drive (GB): Over 50

Read all comments (1)

Share this product review with your friends   
Share This!


Related Deals You Might Like...

Acer C710-2487 Chromebook Intel Celeron 847 1.1GHz 11.6 Chrome OS

Acer C710-2487 Chromebook Intel Celeron 847 1.1GHz 11.6 Chrome OS

CPU Type Intel Celeron 847 1.1GHz Wide Screen Support Yes HDD RPM 5400RPM HDD Interface SATA Part# NU.SH7AA.007 Color Iron Gray Operating System Chrom...
Newegg.com

$429.95

FREE Shipping
Asus - 15.6 Laptop - Intel Celeron - 4GB Memory - 500GB Hard Drive - Black

Asus - 15.6 Laptop - Intel Celeron - 4GB Memory - 500GB Hard Drive - Black

Learn more about the New Windows With a 500GB hard drive, this Asus D550MAVDB01 laptop delivers plenty of storage space for your important media files...
Best Buy

$299.99

FREE Shipping
Dell - Inspiron 14 Laptop - Intel Celeron - 2GB Memory - 500GB Hard Drive - Black

Dell - Inspiron 14 Laptop - Intel Celeron - 2GB Memory - 500GB Hard Drive - Black

Stay connected with this Dell Inspiron I34511001BLK laptop, which features Bluetooth technology for simple pairing with other Bluetooth-enabled device...
Best Buy

$249.99

FREE Shipping
Asus Vivopc Vm40b Intel Celeron 1007u 1.5ghz/ 4gb Ddr3/ 500gb Hdd/ No Odd/

Asus Vivopc Vm40b Intel Celeron 1007u 1.5ghz/ 4gb Ddr3/ 500gb Hdd/ No Odd/

eWiz is your best friend! Product Info Payment Shipping Disclaimer Return Policy CA Recycling Fee PRODUCT INFO Asus VivoPC VM40B Intel Celeron 1007U 1...
eBay

$275.49

FREE Shipping
Samsung - 11.6 HD Chromebook 2 Notebook Computer, Intel Celeron N2840 2.16GHz, 2GB RAM, 1

Samsung - 11.6 HD Chromebook 2 Notebook Computer, Intel Celeron N2840 2.16GHz, 2GB RAM, 1

Samsung 11.6 HD Chromebook 2 Notebook Computer, Intel Celeron N2840 2.16GHz, 2GB RAM, 16GB Storage, Chrome OS - Metallic Silver The Samsung Chromebook...
Adorama

$249.99

FREE Shipping
Toshiba 15 Laptop Intel Celeron 4GB RAM 500GB HDD

Toshiba 15 Laptop Intel Celeron 4GB RAM 500GB HDD

Accomplish everything, sacrifice nothing. The Toshiba Satellite C55-B5296 laptop is set up for smooth, speedy performance of all your everyday tasks--...
QVC

$429.96

+$25.97 shipping
acer Thin Client Intel Celeron 4GB DT.VHDAA.003

acer Thin Client Intel Celeron 4GB DT.VHDAA.003

Cache Memory 2 MB CPU Features 1017U processor (1.6GHz) Chipset Intel HM70 Express Memory Type DDR3 MAX Memory Capacity 8GB HDD Interface SATA Max HDD...
Newegg.com

$419.99

FREE Shipping
Toshiba - 13.3 Chromebook - Intel Celeron - 2GB Memory - 16GB Solid State Drive - Silver

Toshiba - 13.3 Chromebook - Intel Celeron - 2GB Memory - 16GB Solid State Drive - Silver

This Toshiba CB35B3330 Chromebook's 13.3 LED-backlit TFT display offers native support for 720p content to ensure clear media viewing. The Intel Celer...
Best Buy

$237.99

FREE Shipping
Dell 730-8302 Chromebook 11 Intel Celeron Dual-Core 2955U 1.40GHz Notebook - 2GB RAM  16GB SSD  11.6 HD Display  Gigabit Ethernet  802.11a/b/g/n  Bluetooth  Web

Dell 730-8302 Chromebook 11 Intel Celeron Dual-Core 2955U 1.40GHz Notebook - 2GB RAM 16GB SSD 11.6 HD Display Gi...

Intel Celeron Dual-Core 2955U 1.40GHz 2GB DDR3L SDRAM 16GB SSD 11.6 HD Display Intel HD Graphics Webcam Gigabit Ethernet 802.11a/b/g/n Bluetoo...
MacMall