Buying hardware, what is OEM?

  badgery 01:40 21 Jan 2005

Need an upgrade, considering new HDD and/or DVD writer, but when I look at sites to buy I see OEM often appearing after the equipment.
What is the meaning (I know it stands for Original Equip Manufr) - but what does it mean in practice for the buyer?? Do I get a lesser product? Does it matter? Would I be better going to a shop and paying the extra? Any help/info appreciated.

  Forum Editor 01:54 21 Jan 2005

that the item will come in a plain brown box (usually) and will contain no 'extras' like manuals etc., but you will not be getting an inferior product.

It also means that there will be no technical support from the manufacturer - although your statutory rights under the various consumer protection laws will be unaffected.

  badgery 02:20 21 Jan 2005

Thanks for that, FE.
So if something wasn't working correctly the unit would need to be returned to the seller, for redress, as opposed to asking for help from the maker to solve the problem?
That doesn't seem so bad then.

  t.long 13:19 21 Jan 2005

Be carful with OEM DVD writers, quite often OEM hardware is supplied only with drivers and no additional software. An OEM DVD writer may have burning software it may not. Though if it does not you can at the same time buy an OEM copy of the software.

Sometimes OEM products come with all the same stuff - besides tech support - as the retail. At other times it is as FE said just the product in a brown box. Most sites should give an idea of what is included. Just remember that if you are looking at say PC Advisor reviews these are normaly retail products, so come with software and cables, screws etc.

  Stuartli 13:36 21 Jan 2005

For most people buying OEM products is merely a replacement or upgrade for current equipment and they will therefore have all the cables, software etc required.

The bonus is that not only will the OEM product (in 98 per cent of cases) be exactly the same as the retail alternative, it will also bring a substantial purchase price saving.

  badgery 06:27 22 Jan 2005

Thanks, guys, the DVD would be to replace my CD RW, so all the cables are there already. The HDD is to be an additional drive - and I am considering an external. I know they are more expensive, but just plug&play does appeal!
I have a firewire card and would use this to connect. Are there any drawbacks to external, or is the operation just as good as internal?

  Forum Editor 09:17 22 Jan 2005

will tell you that it can transfer data at around 400Mb/sec on a Firewire connection, and slightly more than that if you use USB 2.0

True performance rates may not reach those figures, but to all intents and purposes you'll not notice the difference.

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