Need new motherboard for an emachine
December 29, 2008 11:13 AM   Subscribe

Should we replace the motherboard and processor or buy a new computer?

My husband's emachine (T6520) died and it needs a new motherboard and processor. Calls to the company have been useless and we can't find a supplier to replace these parts.

Should we replace them or just go with a new computer? Any ideas on where we can get new parts?
posted by socrateaser to Computers & Internet (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
You can try one of the places listed here.

I would probably go with this.

But, in all honesty, I would probably get a new computer.
posted by icarus at 11:28 AM on December 29, 2008

Well, depending on what else is in that machine that you can save, it's very likely cheaper to get a mobo and cpu from some place like and just swap out the parts. The specs on the T6520 don't look that massive, so depending on how well it serves your needs you may want to upgrade to something slightly more current. The power supply, hard drive and DVD drive should be good to keep; the memory is acceptable, but really you can get 2 or 4gb of DDR2 for dirt cheap (example). For mobo and cpu combos, you'll probably want something like this for 150 bucks. That's around what you had before as far as processors go. Most likely this is just a general house computer/email and net machine, so the biggest boost in performance is likely to be topping off the memory. However, for a lowend machine like that, you should be able to just replace the core componants and be good to go.

Word of caution - if you replace the mobo and cpu, you will likely need to re-install your OS as well. Usually you can just reinstall over the old installation without deleting other data, but it's generally better to have a clean slate. If you have access to do so, back up what data you want to keep off of the old HD and then format the sucker fresh when you reinstall.
posted by FatherDagon at 11:40 AM on December 29, 2008

Googling, that machine appears to be 3 to 4 years old.

Get a new one. Swapping out a MB+CPU is about 99% of the work of just putting together a new PC from parts, which would provide about a zillion times as much bang for the buck as trying to refit that box.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:42 AM on December 29, 2008

Caveats: I am both a computer buildaholic and a stingy recycling fiend. Most of the work here is rather simple, but involves fiddling and plugging sensitive components. If it seems a bit too complex, it may be worth the extra 300-400 you'd pay just to get a whole new machine of comparable musclepower.
posted by FatherDagon at 11:43 AM on December 29, 2008

I'd second FatherDagon - prices of new computers are dropping, and older machines with problems like yours are unfortunately not worth fixing (the opinions of masochistic hobbyists such as myself may differ). The post-holiday sales over at Tigerdirect and Newegg are a good place to start. Most likely you can keep your data by using your hard drive as a secondary drive within your new machine, or you can buy a USB enclosure for it.
posted by antonymous at 12:09 PM on December 29, 2008

Buy a new machine. It will save you a tremendous hassle, especially if your emachine has a different power supply or some other quirk (front audio inputs, front usb inputs) that won't work with a new motherboard you buy (unlikely, but possible).

Put your old hard drive in the new machine, you then have a fresh start with no risk of losing information.

If you do want to get parts for the old one, here is a site selling a case/cpu/motherboard/ram replacement for $170. You will probably have to reinstall Windows, which is definitely a hassle on the existing hard drive (backup all information first). I don't have any experience with that seller, but they have generally positive reviews through Google.
posted by shinynewnick at 1:37 PM on December 29, 2008

I agree with others -- buy something new. That said, if it were me I would want to compare prices before moving forward (also curious how you know it is the mobo and CPU, but I digress). I would try to boot from a CD (like the Ultimate Boot CD) and use the system information tools to try to identify your current components so you can get an accurate estimate of the $$ from Newegg or similar.
posted by masher at 2:18 PM on December 29, 2008

This is one of the ultimate time vs. money problems.

In my youth I very much enjoyed playing around with hardware, building various systems.

Now, in my old age, just the thought of hardware trouble gives me nightmares.
posted by ezekieldas at 4:48 PM on December 29, 2008

It's odd for them both to go out at the same time. Usually it's one or the other, and processors rarely fail. (Out of the hundreds of computers I've repaired, I've only replaced maybe two truly faulty processors.)

That probably doesn't help you any, since you're still stuck with replacing one or the other, and either proposition will probably not be worth it. The cheapest Intel board with the cheapest Celeron is going to perform better.
posted by gjc at 5:02 PM on December 29, 2008

Get a new one. Swapping out a MB+CPU is about 99% of the work of just putting together a new PC from parts, which would provide about a zillion times as much bang for the buck as trying to refit that box.

With one caveat. If this is a repair (not an upgrade) you can legitimately transfer the eMachine's Windows license to a new motherboard/CPU. Whether this turns out to be important or not depends on your particular circumstances..
posted by Chuckles at 11:50 PM on December 29, 2008

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