Although the graphics are onboard, thanks to the ATI Express 200 chipset, there is also a PCI Express 16x slot should you want to put in a better graphics card. Although a 3.06GHz Pentium 4 is plenty of grunt to power a decent graphics card, the power supply will almost definitely be up to the task. For starters, there is no 6-pin connector! So be aware that you will probably have to change the power supply in order to get a faster card working.
From the back, you can see the limited connectivity. Sound is provided by the Realtek ALC861 chipset, and is naturally HD. However, there is only enough connectivity for a 5.1 setup and there is no digital output.
There are four USB 2.0 ports, 100Mbit Ethernet, two PS/2 ports, a serial port and a printer port. Naturally, because of the onboard graphics, there is a D-SUB port too – but no DVI. There is even a 56K modem, for those still stuck in the dark ages.
Keyboard, mouse and speakers are included. These aren’t anything particularly special, but you’re only a monitor away from a complete machine. For full specifications of this machine, follow this link.
Performance was fine. With an overall Sysmark 2004 score of 137, this is close to the speed of the Compaq Presario SR1719UK.
For our own 2D benchmarks, we compared to the budget Core 2 Duo E6400. This is the 2MB version of the processor running at 2.13GHz. You can draw your own conclusions from the results, but the difference is astonishing – but with two cores, you’d expect so.
When writing this review, the first thing I did was chase up the price. Staples told me £270, but that there were only 18 in the whole of the UK and that it was going to be a discontinued product. This kind of puts a damper on what is otherwise a great machine. What it does prove, is that for under £300 you can get a decent machine, and that emachines are building good ones.