View Full Version : What does this mean : OEM/Retail

12 December 2003, 11:34 PM
If you browse this page, you will find (or at least to me) two identical processors, one retail, one OEM.

What's that mean?

12 December 2003, 12:40 AM
OEM's are specifically packaged for places that build computers (ie Dell, Monarch, Boxx). They usually do not come with documentation or at least a reduced amount of it. The cost savings of not providing all the fancy retail packaging and literature reduces the cost of the item. Often items like processors also reduce the OEM cost by not including the cpu fan.

12 December 2003, 12:43 AM
You can buy the retail one and get the whole original box and packaging, software and that stuff. Generally its more expensive for retail because of the box, it has to be printed.. blah blah blah..

for OEM you can just go to some small computer store that sells parts and you can pick up the EXACT same card or device but instead of a box you get JUST the device in a static bag. No brochures, packaging material..

12 December 2003, 01:03 AM
I think I'll stick to retail until I'm used to building computers

Thx guys

12 December 2003, 05:33 PM
jeez. leave out the important stuff why don't you.

OK. retail usually has a 3 or 5 year warranty, a useless manual, and a certified heatsink with approved thermal interface compound. It comes in a nice box.

an OEM has less warranty or none at all (ranges from 15 dyas from the retailer to a year from the manufacturer depending), no heatsink, and no manual. It usually comes rubberbanded into a piece of cpu tray.

12 December 2003, 05:55 PM
Every, and I mean every OEM product that I have ever purchased has had the exact same warranty as the retail version.

12 December 2003, 09:31 PM
Just because you believe it to be true, doesn't make it so.

you will notice on the retail boxed CPUs there is a field Warranty: 3-years.

On the OEM cpus there is no such field.

This is not simply because someone didn't bother to put it there. This is because there is no warranty. Now newegg does provide certain period within which you can return a defective product, but that is not a manufacturer's warranty. When something is OEM it stands for original equipment manufacturer. Which basically means someone who builds a product. The deal for the lower prices basically means that the OEM understands that it is assuming the onus of merchantability. I.e. your dell blows smoke, you call dell, not intel. DELL gets price breaks for this as well as fro buying a bazillion processors.

It also varies. With the socketed athlon line at some point, amd started factory warrantying them. OEM was 1 year, retail box 3 years. Both well beyond the time frame in which a processor will show any defects without being abused.

Things such as hard drives tend to have more parity between OEM/whitebox/brownbox and reatail than other products, but the guy asked about processors.

Then again, things like video cards tend to do it the other way.

sapphire retail 9700 card, 2-year warranty

sapphire non-retail. no warranty mention whatsoever.

Now the simple truth is that for the most part, warranty doesn't matter much. What matters is the return policy of the place you buy it. Most problems with solid state devices suffer more from infant mortality than from lack of durability. If it is going to die, it is likely going to do it in the first 30 days provided you properly burn-in the system during that period to make sure it can take heavy usage heat levels.

Also, exercising a warranty on a component is usally a huge pain in the butt. With the exception of major video card makers, hard drives, and memory purchased from crucial, It is a blinding pain in the ass to get someone to make good on a claim. Which makes a having a warranty or not less of an issue. however, that extra $9 to shop form someplace that will actually help you out if the magic smoke gets let out in the first 30 days might be money well spent.

For similar reasons, I do my video card shopping at best buy these days because component incompatibility is getting worse and worse, and I may have to return something that just doesn't play well with others rather than being defective. Which that lets me do. It's worth the extra $30 to be able to do that without shipping time, shipping costs, and restocking fees.

12 December 2003, 10:17 PM
Raz is right. OEM is for resellers who will pick up the tab of the part replacement on their end (like my company or Dell). If your proc dies, they will ship you a new one from their stock given your under their warranty. Then the OEM turns around and either RMAs that back to their distro or manufacture to get it replaced with a working unit for stock, given that its still under the manufacture warranty.

Always go retail if the price is right and get the full support. Only go OEM on specific stuff if you know what your doing (like procs and HDDs, etc...). You pay for what you get, pay less, get less support, pay more, get the same as everyone else..

Unless your buying a copy of XP (or any MS stuff from 'egg), always go the OEM route since you will be paying for the licensing and not the packaging.. :thumbsup:

12 December 2003, 10:20 PM
Originally posted by raz-0
Just because you believe it to be true, doesn't make it so.

And I respond... right back at you.

I have the warranty cards from my OEM: AMD MP's, P4, Maxtor 120g HD, both Maxtor 40g HD, Power Supply, Sony CD-Burner, Sony DVD Player, all four sticks of 1g DDR, Quadro 2, and Quadro 4 right here in front of me.

As with all things check with the vendor for information of what is included with your purchase.

12 December 2003, 10:54 PM
UHM, just because they came FROM an OEM doesn't mean they are OEM products. If you buy an assembled system, they may indeed use retail products rather than choose to provide warranty support themselves. A lot of small system builders do this. Yes, your system builder is technically an OEM, but they may not use OEM parts.

look around at a bajillion web stores by putting into google the product of interest, OEM and warranty.

from intel themselves

from AMD,,30_182_867,00.html

from ASUS, look for 'does not apply to OEM' at the bottom.

I've built a ton of systems, and have had to go through the process with both good brands and bad, good OEMs and bad, and good vendors and bad. I'm not making this stuff up. granted, occasionally you get companies like crucial that lifetime warranty their memory period and don't care if it is OEM or not. But it sure as hell doesn't apply to processors.

As for your power supply, unless it is a PC power and cooling, the warranty is woth nothing. Frankly most of them don't even bother offering a warranty in any way shape or form. As for the memory, it's teh easies place to find lifetime warranties. They usually don't bother differentiating OEM from retail as that'd just be overhead. HDs are usually same warranty OEM and retail. PNY makes the quadro, and they don't bother to differentiaate waranty. sony also happens to just offer a one year warranty as well.

But like the original question stated. CPUs. And if you are calling intel or AMD they will tell you to go through yoru vendor and stop calling them. just like their pages say.

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