Retail vs OEM
OEM is an acronym that stands for Original Equipment Manufacturer, and is heard most often in PC components and software. When you are looking for a certain part for your PC and are in the market, you often come across some products labeled OEM in the display window of the retailer. These are very similar to the retail versions of the same product. However there are differences that we will harp upon in this article to enlighten consumers on the features of both OEM and retail.
You must have experienced that OEM version of a product is priced much less than the retail part of the PC even though it is manufactured by the same company. For those who are tight on budget, this is a good way to save on money. However there are some compromises with OEM products that you may have to make. The differences begin with packaging itself and you will notice that it does not come wrapped in a good looking box, there are no instructions or manuals and there may not be a warrantee even. However, for those who keep on buying such parts frequently, not getting a manual or a proper packaging is not a big deal and they are happy with the saving they make this way. Often, there is a huge difference in price. Especially in the case of processors, you can hope to get as much as 25% off if you go with OEM processors.
You will notice that in comparison to long duration warranties, you get just a 15 days warrantee on OEM product, and even this is to protect you from getting a dead part on arrival. However, there is not much of a difference in performance and features of OEM and retail products and there is no need to worry on this count. Coming from the same manufacturer, you can rely on the quality of the product and in general, both OEM and retail products give the same quality in performance.
Basically, it boils down to one’s own preferences. There are some who feel good to have the back up of a long warrantee while there are others who could not care less about warrantee. If you are comfortable with no or very little warrantee, and instruction manual and a nice looking packing do not mean much to you, you can very well opt for OEM products as there in not much difference between the quality of OEM and retail.