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What is the difference between "OEM" and "Retail"?

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Anonymous
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February 28, 2002 2:16:08 PM

I am looking to build my first PC and I have been seeing 2 versions of the same CPU; one labeled as OEM and the second as "Retail". What are the differences between the two (besides price)? Am I better off going with one or the other? Thanks.

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February 28, 2002 3:09:22 PM

These are my thoughts only, somebody correct me if I'm wrong.

OEM is usually, the first batch processed product that has less quality control (QA), a very limited warranty period, sometimes shipped without all documentation, and most likely sold mail order.

Whereas, retail-box has strict QA policy with longer warranty periods, has all documentation and instructions, and usually can be purchased at major retail outlets.

<b><font color=red>Cast your vote with your $,</b></font color=red> <b><font color=blue>shed your pride with your opinion.</b></font color=blue>
February 28, 2002 3:22:38 PM

For CPUs, retail has two main advantages: an included heatsink and a longer warranty. Of course, it also comes in a spiffy box with instructions, for those who want that.

OEM has the advantage of price.

As for quality in OEM CPUs, they are <i>exactly the same thing</i>. For Ati video cards there is a difference in clockspeed, but all other OEM products are exactly the same.

<font color=orange>Quarter</font color=orange> <font color=blue>Pounder</font color=blue> <font color=orange>Inside</font color=orange>
Don't step in the sarcasm!
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February 28, 2002 3:57:00 PM

this is the difference this is true and facts as I know them.

1. the "OEM" processor you buy will mostly come from a company called AMD will be usually picked by an ungloved greasy "just got back from MickeyD's" hands and thrown into a padded jiffy bag and sent to you.

2. If you buy at a computer show, please take the time out to notice the trayed cpu's that are being touched by all the greasy hands before handed to you. Also be aware of esd so you'll not end up with a doa cpu(beware of recieving anything while the person is eating lomein)

3. for the most part, Intel takes great pride and has a bit more integrity when it come to selling their cpus.

"<b>AMD/VIA!</b>...you are <i>still</i> the weakest link, good bye!"<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by AmdMELTDOWN on 02/28/02 01:00 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
February 28, 2002 4:44:56 PM

yea, sometimes it happens....

it goes from Original Equipment Manufacturer to

Original Equipment Malfunction.

XP 1700+ Soltek 75drv2 512 MB Mushkin rated 233 Radeon 7500 Audigy MP3+ Sony 16x10x40
February 28, 2002 5:19:16 PM

Smart people stay quiet and look dumb, dumb people..... nevermind.

<font color=red>Handsome A7V133 looking for long term relationship with a XP CPU. Prefer non smoker.</font color=red>
February 28, 2002 5:43:18 PM

OK, jc14all is incorrect and AMDmeltdown is a known jackass. Here is the real scoop.

OEM= original equipment manufacturer.

Both OEM and retail chips are of the exact same quality and both Intel and AMD sell OEM chips. This is what is called the "grey market". In theory OEM chips are supposed to only be used by resellers who build systems, like dell or a local pc shop. Wholesale buyers many times times overbuy OEM chips to get a better price then sell the excess on the so called grey market. These chips do not come with heat sinks unless the company you buy from includes one, and then you are not sure its a certified one unless they give you details. Also the warranty id provided from the compnay you buy it from, not AMD or Intel.

Retail chips are just that, chips meant for the retail market. They include a 3 year (typically) warranty from AMD or Intel and also include an approved heat sink/fan.

If you are going to overclock and need special cooling you MIGHT want to go OEM and buy a better cooler, esp since overclocking would void the warranty on a retail chip. If you are using it at stock speeds the retail version is usually the better choice esp since by the time you get a qulity hsf you end up paying as much for OEM.

I hope this clears up your question. If you need any more detail please feel free to post a reply or private message me and id be happy to help more =)

Jesus saves, but Mario scores!!!
February 28, 2002 5:49:17 PM

Jc, you are wrong.

OEM and retail cpus are exactly the same. The only difference is packaging, oem chips are intended to be put in systems pre built where the box and manual would not be needed. Many(most) are sold for less because of the savings from no packaging and no hsf included.

AGAIN, i stress, there is no difference quality wise between oem and retail cpu's(and as burger said, videocards are another matter).

"The Cash Left In My Pocket,The BEST Benchmark"
No Overclock+stock hsf=GOOD!
February 28, 2002 6:00:50 PM

Kief is right: AMDMMELTDOWN is a known troll; Intel was selling OEM chips before AMD even introduced its own proc.

For CPUs - both are same quality:

OEM ---------- vs. ---------- Retail
white box/ tray ------------ pretty package
1 yr warranty ------------- 3 yr warranty
no HSF ----------------- Included & certified HSF
save US$10 ---------------- don't save US$10
spend extra US$30 on HSF -- don't spend extra on HSF

Basically, if you're not overclocking, retail is better.

I thought a thought, but the thought I thought wasn't the thought I thought I had thought.
February 28, 2002 6:15:06 PM

Quote:
(and as burger said, videocards are another matter).


Are there other companies besides Ati that sell lower-clocked OEM products? I don't think there are.

BTW, I should mention that the retail package on video cards, drives, etc usually comes with bundled software, accessories (adapters, cables, etc). OEM is usually just the bare drive/card, with CD-ROMs most places will give you a cable to go to the sound card as well.

<font color=orange>Quarter</font color=orange> <font color=blue>Pounder</font color=blue> <font color=orange>Inside</font color=orange>
Don't step in the sarcasm!
February 28, 2002 7:37:02 PM

Yep, OEM sound, video, network, etc cards usually come in a plain box or bubble wrap and usually come with a driver cd only, but not always. No software or (usually) cables. With a cpu there isnt anything in the way of software to leave out, just hsf =)

Jesus saves, but Mario scores!!!
February 28, 2002 7:39:25 PM

Just one small correction: OEM processors have no manufacturer's warranty whatsoever. Part of the reason they are bought in this manner by companies such as Dell is that they would rather service any problems themselves and have to throw out the occasional (rare) bad processor. They actually save money this way rather than paying for a warranty on every processor. Thus, if you have a problem with an OEM processor, your only option is the retail outlet from which you purchased it. Intel (or AMD) will not offer you any support or warranty service at all on an OEM processor.

-Raystonn


= The views stated herein are my personal views, and not necessarily the views of my employer. =
February 28, 2002 7:49:51 PM

You also have to beware of some OEM cards (especially cheezy sound cards, modems, and network cards). Some of them are made 'special' for specific OEMs to use and in those cases they can be funky and/or the crappiest corner-cutting POS on earth and beyond. Other times you can find almost nameless 3rd parties who produce cards under a licenced technology name and <i>not</i> their own. (Such as a butt-load of Motorola modems.)

But again, this doesn't happen with CPUs because there really aren't that many companies putting out CPUs.

<pre><b><font color=orange>AROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!</font color=orange></b></pre><p>
February 28, 2002 8:04:54 PM

A correction to your correction. As I mentioned in my first post OEM CPUs DO HAVE A WARRANTY!! However the warranty comes from the company that sold you the chip, not Intel or AMD. Typically this is a 15 or 30 day "dead on arrival" warranty. However I have seen many companies sell OEM CPU + motherboard combos with hsf for one price with a year warranty. The point to stress is the warranty is set by and taken care of by the reseller, not Intel or AMD!

Jesus saves, but Mario scores!!!
February 28, 2002 8:08:58 PM

Ah, good point. The Turtle Beach Santa Cruz has a special version for Dells, for instance. It has a different BIOS and drivers.

Kief, that's what Raystonn was referring to. It's not a manufacturer's warranty, and arguably should not be called a warranty at all.

<font color=orange>Quarter</font color=orange> <font color=blue>Pounder</font color=blue> <font color=orange>Inside</font color=orange>
Don't step in the sarcasm!
February 28, 2002 9:14:23 PM

Hehe, just wanted to make that totally clear to the original poster =)

Jesus saves, but Mario scores!!!
February 28, 2002 9:23:29 PM

Quote:
Are there other companies besides Ati that sell lower-clocked OEM products? I don't think there are.



Nope, but I didnt want to sound like I was slamming ati, so I said videocards instead.

::mr PC::

"The Cash Left In My Pocket,The BEST Benchmark"
No Overclock+stock hsf=GOOD!
February 28, 2002 9:28:56 PM

ATI sells lower-clocked OEM products because they sell significantly more OEM products than retails and lowering the clock increases the number of stable boards they can manufacture to supply the OEMs.

AMD technology + Intel technology = Intel/AMD Pentathlon IV; the <b>ULTIMATE</b> PC processor
February 28, 2002 9:36:27 PM

Ok, now I need some education. I was aware that ATI did this, but is it ALL thier OEM products or just some. For example a buddy of mine just got a 7500, and the clock rate advertised from the seller matched the retail one. Was that a complete lie or do some OEM ATI products run at full speed?


Jesus saves, but Mario scores!!!
February 28, 2002 9:41:20 PM

Quote:
ATI sells lower-clocked OEM products because they sell significantly more OEM products than retails and lowering the clocking, increases the number of stable boards they can manufacture to supply the OEMs.



Then why dosent nvidia do this?

coughemptywaytoselldefectivechipscough

"The Cash Left In My Pocket,The BEST Benchmark"
No Overclock+stock hsf=GOOD!
February 28, 2002 10:38:35 PM

Hey thanks Matisaro, I am never to smart to learn, I appreciate the correction. Huffychicken, you are in good hands here, but please disregard the rhetoric of AMDMeltdown. He is a intelligent individual when he wants to be, but as you see; he is not sincere in this post, just instigating rivalry as a norm for himself.

<b><font color=red>Cast your vote with your $,</b></font color=red> <b><font color=blue>shed your pride with your opinion.</b></font color=blue>
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
February 28, 2002 10:57:39 PM

OEM = Origional Equipment Manufacturer - these are parts that are usually sold in bulk without a retail packaging and without the better warranty that the retail parts recieve. However I don't believe there is any difference in quality. The retail part will come in a retail box directly from the manufacturer (AMD or INTEL), and therefore have a warranty from them. I have used lots of OEM parts in systems that I have built and have had no quality issues. I'd go for the OEM and save a few bucks. Hope I have been helpful.

I ain't got time to bleed! :eek: 
February 28, 2002 11:26:24 PM

yeah, i buy OEM chips all the time and they're warrentied......

<font color=red>DO NOT LIGHT YOURSELF ON FIRE</font color=red>
March 1, 2002 2:16:17 AM

ATI OEM Radeon 8500 are ALL underclocked. Other models (for example the 7500) usually are not underclocked. This only affects the ATI 8500 line.

--------------
Knowan likes you. Knowan is your friend. Knowan thinks you're great.
March 1, 2002 3:00:40 AM

Nvidia doesn't do this because they do not produce their own boards. All of thier sales are made through third party companies. If I'm not mistaken Visiontek was the company that produced the reference and many of the cheap OEM boards. Also there have been cases where you do get variations on the RAM on GeForce boards, some slower some faster.

Blah, Blah Blahh, Blahh, blahh blah blahh, blah blah.
March 1, 2002 10:04:32 AM

Quote:
Nvidia doesn't do this because they do not produce their own boards. All of thier sales are made through third party companies. If I'm not mistaken Visiontek was the company that produced the reference and many of the cheap OEM boards. Also there have been cases where you do get variations on the RAM on GeForce boards, some slower some faster.

Blah, Blah Blahh, Blahh, blahh blah blahh, blah blah.


About the ram, no nvidia boards are sold with lower than specified chipspeeds. Third party manufacturers have nothing to do with it, ati sells its failed low yield chips are oem chips, nvidia does not, plain and simple.

"The Cash Left In My Pocket,The BEST Benchmark"
No Overclock+stock hsf=GOOD!<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by Matisaro on 03/02/02 00:03 AM.</EM></FONT></P>
March 1, 2002 10:49:45 AM

Quote:

Then why dosent nvidia do this?

coughemptywaytoselldefectivechipscough

Simply because there isn't as much demand for nVidia chips in OEM systems as there is for ATI cards. Remember that probably 2/3 (just a guess) of the laptops come with ATI chips. Also, a large chunk of PCs come with ATI cards. The only OEM cards nVidia makes serious money with are their TNT2 line of cards.

AMD technology + Intel technology = Intel/AMD Pentathlon IV; the <b>ULTIMATE</b> PC processor
March 1, 2002 3:23:17 PM

Quote:
OEM processors have no manufacturer's warranty whatsoever.

Partially true; OEM processors do have a 1 year factory warranty - but, unlike boxed processors, the warranty can only be exercised via the channel it was sold into. You have to take/send it back to the reseller; the reseller sends it back to the distributor; the distributor exercises the warranty with the manufacturer. Dell et. al. don't just throw away bad processors.

There is very little difference in how you exercise a boxed processor warranty EXCEPT that you (the consumer) can contact the manu directly if the reseller refuses to honor the warranty. Buyer beware: if you buy OEM from a shady dealer, you can't expect warranty service.

I thought a thought, but the thought I thought wasn't the thought I thought I had thought.
March 1, 2002 3:31:09 PM

Post deleted by ath0mps0
March 2, 2002 6:03:17 AM

Whoops fixxed it.

"The Cash Left In My Pocket,The BEST Benchmark"
No Overclock+stock hsf=GOOD!
March 2, 2002 6:04:43 AM

Quote:
Simply because there isn't as much demand for nVidia chips in OEM systems as there is for ATI cards. Remember that probably 2/3 (just a guess) of the laptops come with ATI chips. Also, a large chunk of PCs come with ATI cards. The only OEM cards nVidia makes serious money with are their TNT2 line of cards.


A: laptops have nothing to do with desktop videocards.
B: Nvidia does sell oems, and they do NOT lower the clock on their oems, they forbid their card manufacturer partners from doing it as well.
C: The gf2 mx outsells the tnt2 IIRC, by a large margin in oem systems.

"The Cash Left In My Pocket,The BEST Benchmark"
No Overclock+stock hsf=GOOD!
!