OEM and Retail

I have been looking at DVD’s for my PC recently and a number of websites say that they are OEM or retail?

What does each one mean? What is the difference?

OEM is basically just the bare drive no instruction nothing. Maybe not even any software.

Retail will have instructions and usually a disk with all kinds of DVD players and an AOL startup disk. You practically get those when you buy groceries.

OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) drives (or similar components) are often packaged as gazpacho indicated for sale to PC manuf. or assemblers. Drives are often also sold this way to experienced users, at slightly lower prices, who don’t need the retail packaging components (rails, screws, cable etc) or drivers.

Thanks guys.

I guess I’ll save a few bucks and get the OEM then. :slight_smile:

You might want to check if the OEM version comes with a reasonable warranty. They sometimes don’t.

Tech support is also sometimes restricted for OEM products. Some manufacturers and software publishers (like MS) require that you go to the PC manufacturer for support. This can suck if you’re transferring OEM licenses or hardware to a new machine and encounter problems. On something like a DVD drive, go for it. The basic mfr’s warranty should still apply and you really shouldn’t need tech support for something like this but, if you go with a hardware DVD decoder, retail can be a big plus when solving driver issues. You should also look at retail drives to see if they include software DVD decoders. You might save some cash over purchasing the software seperately.