Question about OEM motherboards

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Question about OEM motherboards

Postposted on Mon Nov 12, 2007 8:14 pm

Hey, Im sure im not the only one who notices the huge price difference between retail motherboards and OEM motherboards. Usually im all over OEM/open box items, after all its just an item thats been inspected by experts and tested to be completely satisfactory, and cheaper^^.

So, previous OEM items come naked, which is essentially what OEM means, but to what extent does this apply to a motherboard? It has to come in the original manufacturer case (because they cant just throw it in a box like a cd drive or hard drive and ship it) and it also needs static protection and come with some sort of safety packaging.. its a motherboard!

So, even if its oem, and it comes in the original box, does that still mean they ditch the manual?? What if the mobo comes with a wifi antenna thats not essentially "part of the motherboard"....? Driver cd? What about coming with a rear I/O panel shield that only fits that mobo??

SATA and IDE cables and that stuff im not worried about. ANybody ever buy OEM/open box mobos?
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Postposted on Mon Nov 12, 2007 8:20 pm

Even the big online parts sellers like Newegg don't seem to carry many (if any) OEM motherboards. Seems like they're all either retail, or "open box" (which is not the same thing as OEM).

Lack of a manual and/or driver CD wouldn't bother me much. The ones in the box are often out-of-date anyhow, so you're better off downloading them from the manufacturer's web site.
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Postposted on Mon Nov 12, 2007 8:30 pm

oh right. I meant open box. The ones that are used and returned. I dont see why they require you to return everything that was included with the item if your going to RMA, when they only resell the main item anyways.

I could save $75 on a p5k deluxe open box buying it from newegg. Thats not a small chunk of money.

Anyways, still curious as to what they include... I might email newegg.
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Postposted on Mon Nov 12, 2007 8:34 pm

AFAIK they tend to be "as-is". E.g., if the return was due to one of the accessories being missing/defective, or if the customer didn't return everything for whatever reason, then those item(s) will be missing from the "open box" deal. There's no set rule about what will or won't be included.
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''OEM'' versions often stripped of features modules . . .

Postposted on Mon Nov 12, 2007 8:42 pm

To some extent, motherboard design is modular in that each design has the basic features provided by the processor and chipset plus the necessary support circuitry. Then, manufacturers add functionality with additional chips and support circuitry. If you compare different models from a series of boards all based on the same chipset from a single mobo manufacturer, you will see the degree of modularity in design.

Often, mobo manufacturers supply "OEM" boards for use in commercially mass-marketed builds from brand name computer marketers, and, often, these are based on the same modular designs you see in retail packaging; however, usually, some/many of the retail extras are missing, usually as a cost-cutting measure. For example, an OEM version of a board is likely to be missing the extra drive controller chip (thus only 6 hard drives rather than 10 -- 6 SATA + 2 SATA + 2 P-ATA/IDE), firewire controller, extra USB headers, etc.
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Postposted on Mon Nov 12, 2007 8:45 pm

I recently bought an Open Box Gigabye GA-965P-DS3 motherboard from Newegg. It came in a brown box, wrapped in the static bag, with nothing else but paper to keep it from banging around inside the box. Not even the I/O shield, which I found fairly irksome considering it wasn't as cheap as it should have been. I'd have preferred the shield, and the driver disc so I wouldn't have had to make one for myself after downloading all the stuff from Gigabyte's site since the networking doesn't work until you install the driver for it. (Edit: And the original motherboard box would've been useful as a place to keep things like the driver disc and anything else related to the board.)

At least it was a v. 3.3 board, which I believe is the latest and hopefully the most bug-free. Still, I doubt I'd do it again for a machine unless I was going to leave it running open on a bench somewhere, which is unlikely as can be.

Edit: In my view, if someone returns an item for refund and doesn't include every single part that came with it, he should be quadruple charged the replacement cost.
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Postposted on Tue Nov 13, 2007 4:00 pm

Hey thanks Ragnar thats exactly what I wanted to know. That they don't even include the I/O Panel is ridiculous... I wont be buying open box.

95% sure im going with a Abit IP35 Pro for $165 and they dont have the open box option anyways.
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Postposted on Tue Nov 13, 2007 4:02 pm

Yeah, I think it's possible they'd include one, but it's luck of the draw, so to speak, so I'm not going to gamble any more just to save a couple of tens of bucks.
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Postposted on Tue Nov 13, 2007 4:21 pm

If it is too much and you don't need all those SATA ports, why not get an ICH9 based board like the vanilla IP35 or Gigabyte's DS3L?
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