OEM vs. Retail CPU for Athlon what is the diff?

I have heard it is something to do with the core either being copper or aluminum but I am not sure which is which. Could someone please explain?


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  1. So far as I know, the only difference is OEM versions have almost no warranty at all ... I think its a 20-day warranty, total. Intel's OEMs I think are 10 days.
  2. In warranty terms the OEM Warranty is serviced by the company you purchased the component from where as retail is by the manufactuer, the OEM's usually come with less warranty but that depends on where you buy it from


    if at first you don't succeed , destroy all evidence that you ever tried...
  3. The difference is the Warranty/HSF

    The OEM are warrantied by the person you purchased from, usally 30days or less - hence the cheaper price. And no HSF.

    Retail or "Boxed" comes with a Warranty from AMD for 3yrs? Plus the Retail has a HSF on it. It's more expensive...

    Copper or Aluminum depends on were it was made. You can get a copper OEM (the cheaper price) and get an aluminum retail (more expensive). Speed also plays a part, I would think that a higher speed chip 1+ gig is more likely to be copper.

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  4. I would stick with retail version, if at all possible. The reason was explained many times on these boards by Steve Benoit from Stable Technologies. I'm only repeating his arguments (yeah, that's a disclaimer on my part). Namely, a certain portion of OEM CPUs are, in fact, those that didn't pass all the tests after they were fabbed. And that's why they don't have extended warranty.

    Consider retail Athlons with 266MHz bus. They are 100% certified and come with a warranty, because they passed all the tests at the fab. Those that didn't, fall down in several categories, such as OEM with 266 MHz bus (if not too badly off), or OEM with 200 MHz bus (if the quality is too bad to run at 266 MHz). The latter category is one of the reasons why some 200 MHz CPUs are easily overclockable to 266 MHz bus. But do it at your own risk.

  5. The HSF with the Retail Athlon sucks(3 years). Go get a OEM athlon(30 days) with a FOP38 or Thremo-Engine. There some real answers.

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  6. Actually, from what I hear, the HSF that comes with the boxed 266MHz FSB CPUs is actually pretty good. And it has to be, since it has to cool that egg-frying core that is the Athlon "C". The only thing I suspect that might be bad about the HSF is that the fan might be on the noisy side, and therefore might offend some noise-sensitive people. But it cools well, and some people say that it still does the job even if you overclock your CPU to the limits of the design. But, I suggest a boxed CPU, and if you want a quiet, efficent HSF, there is nothing better than the Sliverado from Noisecontrol. Only problem is that it's around $80 and has to be shipped from Germany. But, if you have the cash to get a 1.33GHz Athlon, then you probably would want to best HSF you can get.


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