What’s the difference between an OEM version of a DVD-RW Drive and a RETAIL version of the same drive? The retail seems to be a few dollars more expensive, but no differences are listed.
Its a difference of getting it with original box, and manuals, and any cd’s other than drivers VS. getting a stand alone unit in a generic box with foam to protect it and drivers if need be.
The latter is almost always cheaper.
Although I have seen rare and unusual occurences on newegg where OEM was more expensive than retail believe it or not
Keep in mind that OEM and Bulk is not the same thing.
“OEM vs. Retail
The retail and OEM versions usually will have the same exact product, however the retail version usually will come with bundled software, retail packaging, and more bells and whistles so to speak. OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer), White Box, Brown Box versions will come with the actual product and usually the drivers, no special packaging or software. Occasionally the retail version will accompany a longer warranty.
Suggestion: Check out the manufacturers website, to see what all is included.”
“Bare Drive” or “Bare Card”
These items come exactly as they are described. You will only receive the bare drive or the bare card. These items are brand new. However they are purchased in bulk, and will not accompany any documentation, software, or accessories.
Suggestion: Most drivers and documentation can be downloaded from the manufacturers web site."
If you buy retail drives you will end up with a copy of nero or whatever with each one…but mostly they will be tied to that writer…
With oem as xtacydima says is mostly box only no software or manual but you can get the manual online anyway…
 sorry never saw DiiZzY post which is much the same as i have said
Retail = Glossy boxed, with software (usually Nero OEM suite), usually a blank media, screws and audio cable. Pioneer have the XL (quietdrive) version which is ONLY available retail.
OEM - this varies - I’ve had OEM bagged with software, or it can be completely bare.
Rebrand: You’ll also notice people describing things this way - A rebrand can range from the same as a well known and well liked drive, in a cheaper box, to drives whic have different firmware but will cross-flash - the Liteon and NEC DVD writers feature in a few rebrands, and it’s rare to find much, if any, difference, so you choose between rebrands of the same drive only on price, bundle, or the brand has good or bad support!
“Official” difference beetween OEM and Retail is that OEM is for Original Equipment Manufacturer.
So, it is for devices included in the computer during building, and not added later. Some shops only accept to sold OEM version with a new computer, and not alone.
Since OEM is sold with the original computer, the seller is supposed to manage the first level of support, and the documentation is limited.
There is a warranty difference also…For instance
AMD CPU OEM= no cooling fan and a 30 day warranty
Retail= cooling fan and 3 year warranty
This doesn’t apply to all hardware but it does most.