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Retail vs OEM

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January 17, 2007 2:48:15 PM

Can someone tell me what the real difference is between buying OEM components vs retail components?

I saw an E6400 being sold for $199 as an OEM part. As retail it costs $221. What is the difference between the two? Why should I get one over the other?

Thanks in advance for your explanation.

More about : retail oem

January 17, 2007 2:54:03 PM

OEM means you get just the CPU. No HSF will come with it. If you plan on getting an aftermarket cooling solution, save the 20 bucks and get the OEM version. Otherwise, buy it retail.
January 17, 2007 3:00:54 PM

Quote:
Can someone tell me what the real difference is between buying OEM components vs retail components?

I saw an E6400 being sold for $199 as an OEM part. As retail it costs $221. What is the difference between the two? Why should I get one over the other?

Thanks in advance for your explanation.
With CPU's, the Retail package includes a Heatsink/fan, Intel Inside(or whatever)sticker, and a 12 month warranty(From Intel)..all in a nice box. With OEM, you get the CPU, and that's it...no HS/F, less warranty(many retailers will suppliment the warranty to match the manufacturers..in a a small plastic tray...no box. Same with hard drives. With Retail, you get a small manual,CD with drive diagnostics, drivers, etc, IDE/SATA cable, 4 screws to fasten the drive in the drive cage, and full length warranty...all in a nice fancy box. OEM gets you the drive in a static-free "bag"...no cables,screws,box, paperwork, and shorter warranty. If you don't need all the frills, OEM is fine. The quality is still basically the same. GL :) 
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January 17, 2007 3:34:45 PM

If I plan to install Arctic Cooler Freezer Pro anyway, would I be better off with OEM then? Or because I've never done this before I should get the retail with whatever instructions come with it? The OEM version I saw comes with 90 day warranty and HSF.

Thanks for your answers so far.
January 17, 2007 3:48:40 PM

Some will argue that retail is actually better quality components.

Yes, for CPUs the main difference is the fan and heat sink, which are included w/ the retail bundle, excluded w/ the OEM option.

Retail motherboards usually come w/ data cables to connect your hard drive and your CD/DVD drive, manual, and drivers. This allows you to buy OEM hard drives and CD/DVD drives.

However, OEM CD/DVD drives usually need an aditional cable not included w/ the retail motherboard. That's the analog audio cable which goes between the drive and the motherboard.
not included
January 17, 2007 3:59:21 PM

Well....the most compelling reason to highly consider whether OEM is right for you is the loss of accessories and the loss of the manufacturer's warranty. Buying OEM, the manufacturer is NOT supposed to honor a warranty. So, it will be up to the e-tailer to whether or not they want to extend you a warranty beyond the return's period.

I find it difficult to buy OEM for expensive items like a processor or motherboard. For smaller items, hard disks (under $125), optical drives, add on cards, I find its okay because all the shipping charges you'd incurr exercising an RMA would equal or come close to a new item.

Don't confuse open box with OEM. Open box is the same as retail. The only difference is its been on store display. If the item has been used, theoretically, it should be returned to the manufacturer so it can be inspected, repaired, and tested so I can now be classified as a refurbished unit.

Be careful. You really have to read the fine print. Newegg is a great company, but their enthusiast crowd is growing really fast. So they are experiencing a huge amount of returns. Newegg is not sending everything that is returned back to the manufacturer. Some of the items will be resold as Open Box. Some items have 15 days to return, many have NO RETURNS.
January 17, 2007 4:04:45 PM

Quote:
If I plan to install Arctic Cooler Freezer Pro anyway, would I be better off with OEM then? Or because I've never done this before I should get the retail with whatever instructions come with it? The OEM version I saw comes with 90 day warranty and HSF.

Thanks for your answers so far.


Since you have a heatsink already, save your money and get the OEM product. Do be sure that you have some thermal compound, Artic Silver or other, for the heatsink. Even if you have to buy some Artic Silver, it will still save you money.

If you don't have the heatsink, but are just planning to buy it, it should come with thermal compound and instructions. So you're still better off buying the OEM product.
January 17, 2007 6:28:35 PM

Thank you all for the information and advice. Much appreciated.
January 22, 2007 11:25:26 PM

What about for Hard Drives? Is OEM a good thing to get in this case? I am trying to keep cost down as much as possible.
January 23, 2007 12:31:35 AM

Kool,

OEM parts are no biggie as long as you are willing to accept the risks associated with them.

By risks I simply mean:

Less accessories as mentioned (likely will not have the cable you need in the bag/box it comes in). This may be a secondary cost to factor into OEM. For instance if you were to buy an OEM MB and HD you would likely have to purchase the needed cables as well.

Will it bother you if your CPU dies after 6 months without warning (this may or may NOT happen)? Do you have the funds to do a replacement if it does? In this case does the extra twenty bucks make sense up front?

Some OEM video cards come with underclocked GPUs or slower memory when purchased in the OEM channel versus retail (this does not happen as much as it used to). Some do NOT. You have to be very well educated on what you are purchasing both retail and OEM. The specs have to be scrutinized.

OEM parts likely will NOT come with instruction manuals (hard drives for sure).

Some parts drastically reduce or even remove their warranties in the OEM channels. Again some E-Tailers/Brick and Mortars will extend these warranties but some may not. HINT: Buy from a good reputable vendor OEM or not.

Customer Service for OEM parts may not exist as well. Try contacting a HD manufacturer about a problem you are having with your OEM drive. Most will be able to tell right away (serial number put into OEM channels) and will say to talk to the person you bought it from.

For a first time build I would have to recommend that you mostly stay retail. As you do these things, over time you are able to easily discern if/what is wrong with your build and can easily correct it. Maybe even realize that it is not a Hardware issue at all. By buying retail you at least have support.

Either way, Happy Building...

Hope this helps.
January 23, 2007 12:38:28 AM

PS..

Kool,

About your comment

Quote:
I am trying to keep cost down as much as possible.


This is much like the insurance vs. no insurance discussion.

Can you afford NOT to buy retail for some items?

If you were to purchase an OEM HD for $90.00 and something were to go wrong during the first year post warranty (assuming the OEM drive has a 90 day warranty). Would it then be worth it having to purchase another drive @ $90.00? That is $180.00 for the same HD over a similar period as if nothing had happened in the first place.

Now the beauty of this is (Often OEM HDs are the SAME as their retail equiv). Which means that they may NOT have any issues at all during what would have been the extended warranty period of the retail device and you just saved some money. :) 
January 23, 2007 1:13:14 AM

I always buy my hard drives OEM because they are cheaper and they are a qualifying part for buying oem copies of Microshaft products. Great way to get a full version of your OS or whatever for less than the Retail upgrade.
January 23, 2007 1:21:19 AM

Otto,

That is something else to take into consideration.

The qualification for OEM Microsoft products.

Have to weigh the savings over retail MSoft products too.
January 23, 2007 1:57:15 AM

Quote:
What about for Hard Drives? Is OEM a good thing to get in this case?

Until recently I always bought hard drives OEM. It was just the best trade-off between price and performance in the past. And ... as I think someone else pointed out ... the drives are the same, you just don't get the extra cabling, screws, CD and other installation material with OEM.

The last few years sites like Fry's and other on-line retailers have started offering intermittent special deals which allowed you to buy a retail boxed drive for the same or lower price as OEM. Sometimes it involves a rebate, other times it's just a drive for a low price. You have to watch for these specials, but IMO they're worth it.

I've come to find I like getting the retail boxed drive more than the OEM ... just so long as I don't have to pay more for it. :wink: Basically you just have to be patient and wait a few weeks or so for a good deal to pop up. There are so-called "deal news" sites which can help take most of the work out of the "watching" for you.

-john, the ostensibly essentially clueless redundant legacy dinosaur
January 23, 2007 3:22:39 PM

I have a quick noob question concerning this subject. I bought everything for my build retail except for my hard drive and my dvd burner. Will I need to buy screws to install those drives or should screws be provided with the case (which was retail)?
January 23, 2007 3:43:46 PM

Quote:
Can someone tell me what the real difference is between buying OEM components vs retail components?

I saw an E6400 being sold for $199 as an OEM part. As retail it costs $221. What is the difference between the two? Why should I get one over the other?

Thanks in advance for your explanation.


Generally speaking.. OEM is the part only, with no accessories or software. Often there is also a shorter warranty associated.

Retail comes in a nice box with acessories or software. It often has a longer warranty.
January 23, 2007 3:53:06 PM

Quote:
Can someone tell me what the real difference is between buying OEM components vs retail components?

I saw an E6400 being sold for $199 as an OEM part. As retail it costs $221. What is the difference between the two? Why should I get one over the other?

Thanks in advance for your explanation.


Generally speaking.. OEM is the part only, with no accessories or software. Often there is also a shorter warranty associated.

Retail comes in a nice box with acessories or software. It often has a longer warranty.Glad you pointed all that out, as having read all the replies posted, you know that nobody else did. :roll:
January 23, 2007 3:53:33 PM

Quote:
I have a quick noob question concerning this subject. I bought everything for my build retail except for my hard drive and my dvd burner. Will I need to buy screws to install those drives or should screws be provided with the case (which was retail)?


even if you purchased your HD and Burner oem it should still come with screws,if for some strange reason it doesn't Your case always ships with extra screws. Some cases don't even use screws(although IMO it's always reccomended
January 23, 2007 4:15:22 PM

The only problem that I have had with a OEM device was my MB. It's a MSI-7046. So if you goto the MSI webpage to update your drivers, you can't even find that MB. It's not listed. You may want to think about that if you buy a OEM MB.
12 minutes ago

OEM processors come in a tray with 20 other processor chips, and it's what is shipped to manufacturers, Retail is in a box with HS and Fan, instructions etc. OEM's normally come with 1 year warranty, and Retail with 3.. so go with whatever you need, if your going to upgrade from the stock cooler then go for OEM and save a few quid.
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