OEM and Retail version??

  sohaib 11:49 30 Jan 2004

What does it mean if i buy an oem version rather than a retail version?

for example if i buy a hard drive, which is oem is usually cheaper than the retail version? what would be the diffrence??

also the same for speakers and mice or keyboard??

Please let me know why one is cheap, if they are the same things.


  Infamous 12:24 30 Jan 2004

Retail means that you get fancy boxes and instructions and may be some software to go witht he product.

OEM means you just get the product in a simple box with little instructions and most likely no software eg the harddrive dosent need any software.

its better to go for OEM rather then retail because of the price diffrence you pay for the packaging

  Sheila-214876 12:28 30 Jan 2004

OEM v Retail. In my experience Retail usually comes in a manufacturers box complete with CDs, Printed Manuals, Warranty Cards etc. May also have connecting cables and fixing screws. OEM is usually in an antistatic bag - with nothing else.

  SEASHANTY 15:28 30 Jan 2004

OEM hard drives additionally come without the installation disk for easy set up - you will have to obtain this software from the mfr's website.

  Stuartli 17:36 30 Jan 2004

There are several threads in the forums on this subject.

However, it's better to pay a modest connection charge to download the latest drivers etc for an OEM product than a hefty premium for fancy packaging and the odd bit of often out of date software...

Much of it is originally supplied for computer system builders who already have the required installation requirements; the fact that you are able to buy it at much reduced cost is a bonus.

However, if you have an OEM version of Windows then there is no official Microsoft support, which has to be obtained from the supplier. You can still download updates etc from MS's website.

  carver 09:00 31 Jan 2004

When you look at the OEM version and the Retail version there is nearly always a difference in the length of warranty. For some things this is not an issue because the difference in price is quite large, but if you look at CPU's, the price difference between an OEM and retail version is only a few pounds but the warranty is increased to 3 years from 1 year so it's worth paying the extra few £'s.

  sohaib 11:26 31 Jan 2004

now i understand!


  Stuartli 13:36 31 Jan 2004

I have a Western Digital WD600JB in OEM form - it has a three year warranty and one of the main reasons why I acquired it late last year.

  carver 16:54 31 Jan 2004

There is no hard and fast rules about whether to buy OEM or retail, you have to make the decision on price difference, warranty length and the amount of software, drivers,manuals,cables,screws etc, it either comes with or not. The warranty length can also be affected by who the manufacture is of a certain product, manufacture A will only give 12 months, manufacture B will give 36 months, same product different name.

  Stuartli 17:14 31 Jan 2004

As I said before, OEM products are basically intended for system builders - the fact that the public is able to buy them at (generally speaking) considerably less than for retail is a wonderful bonus.

Go to one of the big online retailers such as Scan and you will be able to buy OEM - go to PC World or similar and you will usually be handed the retail pack.

The OEM route is fine for those who know what they are doing and have, or can acquire, what else is required.

I know I've saved a lot of money over the years...:-)

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