petermontague 14:12 16 Feb 05

I am sure someone must have asked this before, but..
Are there any problems buying OEM components?
I know they are a bit cheaper than retail boxes and that there would be no software included but are all fittings and screws etc, and instructions included? Also is there anything you wouldn't advise getting OEM for any reason.
Are they suitable for a first time p.c builder who doesn't have a box full off odds+sods from past builds than he can utilise.

  TomJerry 14:18 16 Feb 05

OEM products, normally, no instruction (who need them?) no screws (you can get bulk from maplin etc), essential software such as drivers are included, but nothing extra

the main problem is warrenty, normally it is shorter than retail ones, sometime, manufacturers do not support them, for example, Sony does not support any OEM DVD writer, sometime manufacturs do not honour warrenty if retailer gone out of business

So they are chepaer, some components are OK, so not.

  webber_man 14:21 16 Feb 05

I my experience the OEM parts i have bought have just been missing the manual/instructions and in some (but not all) the software CD. Come in a plain box with no pretty pics but that's about it. Installtion guides can be downloaded from the company's website anyway. I have never had a problem myself.

  ventanas 14:29 16 Feb 05

Bought them myself, always just the item - no screws, cables or anything. But I have a big box full of bits and pieces here at work.

  961 14:36 16 Feb 05

It does depend on the price difference and the warranty.

For example, if you buy a retail boxed AMD processor, it will come with an AMD specified heatsink and fan and, in theory, a three year warranty. Although you will find that warranty has some pretty big restrictions you will also discover that if you add up the cost of the components included, there is very little difference in price to buying OEM.

Different manufacturers have different policies. Some include virtually everything including cables and software with OEM products, some don't

Most hard drives I've bought have been OEM. I've never had a problem. All the necessary software can be readily downloaded if it is not included. Similarly floppy disk drives and optical drives need not be retail

Graphics cards and motherboards tend to differ between versions, as retail often has added software, such as games with the graphics cards. The warranty may differ as well

Support may differ insofar as OEM is supported by the "retailer" or "assembler" which in this case is you. But in practise most of this stuff is well supported by the manufacturer's web site and I have not personally found a problem

Often, the price difference is minimal if you shop around. If so, buy retail

  spuds 14:47 16 Feb 05

I have purchased many OEM products, mainly from places like Ebuyer. On some occasions you may get all the cables, screws and fixing hardware supplied. The big problem is with warranties, as some manufacturers will offer no support when others might.If the manufacturer will not offer support, then it is the suppliers responsibility.

Be selective where you purchase from,and only use respected known outlets, as some OEM's can have few hidden problems, like grey imports.

  Stuartli 15:37 16 Feb 05

OEM products originally were/are supplied to system builders etc who provided the warranty backup - any surplus stock would usually be sold off at a lower price than the retail equivalent.

It's become a common practice for online retailers to sell a variety of OEM products and it's a great way of saving unnecessary financial outlay for the majority of buyers.

  petermontague 16:54 16 Feb 05

Thanks guys.I certainly hadn't thought about the warranty side of it. that is something I would rather pay extra for.
With some sites like Ebuyer there are very few hard drives offered that are not OEM and most of the "best" deals re DVD and CDs are OEM, but I will have to weigh that against the lack of warranty.Thanks for your views.

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