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A boxed intel processor vs. a tray

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June 1, 2011 8:47:18 PM



hi guys,

i'm about to buy a new computer. i got a good offer on the system i want, only the vendor (chain store) doesn't have a boxed intel i-5 2500 only the tray (besides the processor everything's retail with the complete lit.).

does that justify walking away from the deal?

additional info-

i buy seperate and better cooling for the processor, so i don't care about the one in the box.

the vendor warranty period for the tray processor is 3 years.

the vendor buys it from different distributers, sometimes from the official intel distributers and sometimes not, i can't control which one i'm getting (i asked).

puzzeling info-

official intel distributers warrants the tray ones for 1 year, as apposed to 3 yrs for boxed' why is that? is that because of poorer quality or they're trying to motivate vendors to buy big masses of the pricier form of the same thing for the sake of profit?


a c 93 à CPUs
June 1, 2011 8:57:42 PM

Thre is no quality difference between retail (boxed) and OEM (tray) processors. The differences as you already said are a shorter warranty period and you have to get a CPU cooler separately. Since you don't intend to use the stock cooler included in the boxed version anyway there is no reason not to bother with the OEM version, unless you really, really want the three year warranty from Intel.

OEM versions are also generally sold for a lower price than the retail boxed version, part of the higher price for the retail versions covers the lengthier warranty period, as well as the stock cooler. OEM CPUs also tend to be more popular with overclockers, as overclocking mandates an aftermarket cooler, and overclocking also voids the warranty, so none of the additional benefits of the retail boxed version apply to those who intend to overclock their CPU.
June 1, 2011 9:16:28 PM

Supernova said it well.

I have bought a few OEM CPU's on my builds and never had a problem. They are generally cheaper by about 10-15% and they are perfect because I never need the stock heatsink anyway. I can only speak for my small number, but neither have had any problems in functionality or needing to use the warranty. Not that I'm saying one couldn't run into problems.
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a c 188 à CPUs
a b å Intel
June 1, 2011 9:26:14 PM

The difference between a boxed/retail and a tray/OEM processor for Intel® come down to a couple simple things. First of all the boxed processors will come with a HSF (heatsink/fan) and a 3 year limited warranty. For a tray/OEM processor the warranty drops down to 1 year limited warranty and doesn’t come with a HSF. As a general rule there isn’t any quality difference between a boxed processor and a tray processor; as a matter of fact in most cases they share the same sSpec # (this # shows the processor and which revision that was used in the making of the processor).

Christian Wood
Intel Enthusiast Team
June 1, 2011 9:50:19 PM


thanks for the quick reply,

i don't know... i heared from a system builder that tray processors tend to heat up a little bit more, and that the serial number tend to wipe off of them, but he had a stake in it, so i don't know if to take his word...

if i buy boxed from a vendor that commits to buy from the official distributer, then i think it's like a 3 line defence- if the vendor goes out of business, you can still contact the official distributer to enforce the warranty, and if they go out of business you can still contact intel directly.

not that contacting a not-end-user-supplier is nice, and not that all these entities going out of business in a 3 year period is very likely...i know i'm square...

maybe i'm worried more about the authenticy of the processor, with box and label you can rest your mind assured...

what do you think?
a c 188 à CPUs
a b å Intel
June 1, 2011 10:23:48 PM

There is no real (physical difference) boxed and a tray processor except for the number printed on the top. Because companies like Dell and HP are always looking for the least expensive way to deliver a system to they will ask for ways to cut the price but dropping the warranty to 1 year and by letting them get their own HSF we cut in most cases around $15 to $20 off the cost of the processor from us.
If a reseller buys from an official Intel authorized distributor they are getting the processor from Intel and ensuring that he isn’t getting some fake or counterfeit processor. In the end the warranty is going to be back up by Intel where it is a tray or a boxed processor. The first thing that tech support will ask you is the serial number of the processor so if the serial number has been removed then you can count there being some problem with the processor.

Christian Wood
Intel Enthusiast Team
June 1, 2011 10:47:43 PM

Not an answer to your question, but another question. Can you buy a CPU from Intel? (direct from the company I mean?)
a b à CPUs
June 2, 2011 4:06:06 AM

Intel does not do mail-order business, selling CPUs to individual consumers one at a time......
June 2, 2011 4:15:00 AM

Im sure you can.

Its a matter of getting in touch with the local rep, having a registered business, opening an account (which often means signing a personal guarantee Ie: if you don't pay they can take your house etc), and finally there are minimum orders which, depending on the number of intermediaries, may be thousands of chips per month.

Fail to meet minimum monthlies and Intel close your account and revoke "authorised dealer" status.
March 17, 2013 12:25:42 PM

In my country they replace the original CPU cooler with cheap cooler (made in china) but provides 3 years warranty..

Is it bad or very bad for us?
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