Athlon XP OEM or Retail Boxed

By Snowy Commando · 15 replies
Apr 15, 2002
  1. Firstly this is not a topic about OEM vs Retail but in the case of buying a AthlonXP CPU OEM for approx. £6 - £16 cheaper than the Retail boxed one which includes an AMD approved heatsink and fan.

    I'm not an overclocker, just want to buy the whole package with CPU with HS&FAN at a good price.

    So, in this case is it worth buying the Retail boxed version or the OEM version and buy a HS&FAN separately elsewhere?

    Just for arguments sake: (

    Athlon XP 1800+ OEM ~£113

    Athlon XP 1800+ Boxed inc Heatsink/Fan ~£130

    Thermaltake Volcano 7+ ~£18

    So, first of all, would the Volcano 7 hs&fan be a lot better than the boxed CPU? Therefore is it worth getting separately the OEM CPU and Volcano7 which is the same price as Boxed CPU?
  2. T-Shirt

    T-Shirt TS Rookie Posts: 289

    I think the OEM has a 1 year warrenty
    and the retail a 3 year
    doesn't make any difference, if you are going to unlock, as that voids all warrenties
  3. Snowy Commando

    Snowy Commando TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 148

    Don't avoid answering the original question. Correct me if i'm wrong but I don't remember implying that I want to 'unlock' it.
  4. svtcobra

    svtcobra TechSpot Paladin Posts: 761

    Retail vs. OEM ----> Definately get the Retail over the OEM so you can get the 3 year warranty. A Volcano 7 will do a better job if you are overclocking but seeing that you dont care about that, just use the retail hsf. It will be fine for the default clock speeds.
  5. svtcobra

    svtcobra TechSpot Paladin Posts: 761

    This was a tad rude in my opinion...T-Shirt was just giving you some input
  6. uncleel

    uncleel TS Rookie Posts: 980

    YES it is, & you asked the same type of questions when you started putting this system together in Jan. Remember?
    Unless the HSF is a specified brand, I'd be inclined to go w/ the oem & the Thermaltake
  7. T-Shirt

    T-Shirt TS Rookie Posts: 289

    No you didn't, but I chose to quantify the value of the warranty, for others who may read this.
    Had I known, you expected an exclusive answer I would not have bothered.
  8. boeingfixer

    boeingfixer TS Rookie Posts: 1,006

    Point to consider by both SVT and "T".

    An AMD in a Retail box with the HSF, will be fully covered for 3 years. If you take the included HSF off and make a substitution, it COULD void the warrenty.

    An AMD in "OEM" trim is only covered by a 1 year warrenty. But be very careful where you buy from, let me explain.

    I build computers on the side. I only buy the OEM version because that is what is available to me wholesale in most cases. Now I cover the CPU for 1 year but my wholesaler ONLY covers it for ONE MONTH.

    So if you get an OEM, make sure you get it in WRITING that it is covered for a YEAR.]

    Here is the direct quote from my wholesaler web site.

    So just be aware.
  9. young&wild

    young&wild TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 993

    I get the retail version if i were you, it's got an AMD approved Heatsink. I think its worthwhile.
  10. Snowy Commando

    Snowy Commando TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 148

    I've read some heatsink reviews and apparently, although the AMD supplied HS&Fan would be certified for use with the CPU it is usually the worst performing HS&Fan compared to any other well known brands.

    I think I read that the AMD one will keep the CPU just within its threshold temperature of ~50c - ~60c whilst a better branded one would usually keep it cooler down to ~40c minimum.

    Therefore, even though i've already answer the question, it would be better buying OEM and paying for good HS&Fan separately which works out the same price or less as paying for the Retail boxed CPU.

    I do remember, however, the only thing i've upgraded in recent times was my new Maxtor HDD, everything else I discuss is purely hypothetical as to when I do decide to upgrade, probably next January at the earliest.
  11. svtcobra

    svtcobra TechSpot Paladin Posts: 761

    Very interesting boeing that if you dont use the supplied HSF with a Retail CPU you could void the warranty. How would they know if you werent using the AMD HSF?
  12. boeingfixer

    boeingfixer TS Rookie Posts: 1,006

    If your CPU dies, they require you to send the CPU, HSF, and receipt back to AMD.

    Just for arguements sake, let's say you switched HSF's and put an aftermarket one on, fan dies, and you send it back with original fan. There will be no evidence on the AMD fan that it was burned or overheated. That is one way. Interesting enough, AMD does NOT use the S/N of the CPU but the one on the HSF for tracking purposes...hope this helps...
  13. uncleel

    uncleel TS Rookie Posts: 980

    Price being equal
    cpu's are equal
    hsf's not equal

    The question has now become...
    "With the posibiltiy of, or the event of" a burnout, should I buy
    1.) cpu w/ top rated hsf
    2.) cpu w/ approvedhsf & longer warranty.

    My question is why expect failure? Proper procedure, quality heat sink past & a Thermaltake should make the possibility of failure remote.

    The "less expensive" hsf will surely run *hotter than a Termaltake, but your paying for the insurance that you expect it to :dead: Your out the replacement time either way.

    (* ie: GlobalWin FOB 32-1 is AMD approved for my Athy, however my copper Vantec cooler & Delta fan is far superior)
  14. boeingfixer

    boeingfixer TS Rookie Posts: 1,006

    Just for the record also, I have never had an AMD CPU die because of a bad HSF. I have had some close calls but no dead ones (sans one of mine that dies when fan broke). But Uncleel is right. I currently have a High Perf Thermaltake on my 1900+ and wouldn't give it up for the world. I have tried many others and have a few that I prefer, but for my own system, Thermaltake all the way !!
  15. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,572   +65

    Personally, I would choose the OEM version and buy a third party HSF. Here's why...

    The retail fan and heatsink are terrible. This results in high temperatures and I'd rather never have to send it back than use my silly warranty because the retail HSF kills it through stressful temperatures.

    I take great comfort in my system running cool because cooler components last longer, run faster and run better. A third party HSF will do this.

    I would have to also argue the processor is the one computer component are least likely to have a problem with. I think their life expectancy is some 15 years of active use....

    The warranty is nice, but you'll never use it as long as you take care of your processor (Example: Getting a decent heatsink). Also, by the time 3 years rolls around, you'll likely get a new processor anyway.
  16. StormBringer

    StormBringer TS Maniac Posts: 2,244

    I agree with Rick, the factory HSF is terrible so you might as well just save the trouble of having to toss it out. I've always used aftermarket fans and heatsinks, whether OCing or not. Cooler is always better.

    Also I hate warranties, companies tend to try to find a loophole so they dont have to honor it, even when you haven't voided it. At least that has been my experience.
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