Read on if you'd like to know...
- What OEM means.
- Why manufacturers make OEM products.
In brief ...
- OEM means "Original Equipment Manufacturer".
- OEM products are usually aimed at computer assemblers or "system builders", and designed be installed or used with a newly built PC or a PC being upgraded.
- Typical OEM products include bare hard drives, motherboards, sound cards, software and keyboards/mice.
- If you buy a product as "OEM", it will usually be cheaper that the RETAIL equivalent because, you won't get retail packaging (a fancy box), a user manual, software drivers or installation instructions.
- Manufacturers have "OEM" versions of products as a concession to companies who are building PCs and do not require the extras included in RETAIL packaged products. This includes not providing technical support on software too.
If you're building or upgrading a PC, OEM is a good way of making savings. However you need to remember that you probably won't get a user manual and may need to download software drivers etc for your components.
If you buy OEM software, it's unlikely that the manufacture will offer technical support. That's one of the reasons why it's available at a cheaper price.
If you're price comparing products, and find that we've both versions of a specific product on offer and a competitor only has one price that is much cheaper, it will normally be the OEM version.