Learn about the technologies behind the Internet with The TCP/IP Guide!
NOTE: Using robot software to mass-download the site degrades the server and is prohibited. See here for more.
Find The PC Guide helpful? Please consider a donation to The PC Guide Tip Jar. Visa/MC/Paypal accepted.
View over 750 of my fine art photos any time for free at DesktopScenes.com!

[ The PC Guide | Systems and Components Reference Guide | Video Cards | Video Card Performance ]

OEM vs. Retail Cards

It seems to be routine practice for large system integrators--OEMs--to cut deals with video card manufacturers to purchase large quantities of lower-capability video cards for their systems. (This appears to happen with video cards more than most other components.) While the retail version of a particular card may have certain performance characteristics, the OEM version can have much worse performance for a number of reasons. I have personally heard of the following corners being cut on OEM video cards:

  • A lower frequency RAMDAC, that won't support refresh rates as high as the retail card.
  • Slower video memory being used.
  • Non-upgradable video memory; the retail card may be 2 MB upgradable to 4 MB, while the OEM card is 2 MB only.
  • Different (usually inferior or simply older) video BIOS code.

Warning: The difference in performance between a retail and OEM version of the same card can be substantial, although sometimes it is not. These OEM video cards are advertised using the full name of the video card and there is no way to tell that what you are getting is not identical to the full retail version unless you ask specifically when buying the system.

Next: Video Chipset / Acceleration Features

Home  -  Search  -  Topics  -  Up

The PC Guide (http://www.PCGuide.com)
Site Version: 2.2.0 - Version Date: April 17, 2001
Copyright 1997-2004 Charles M. Kozierok. All Rights Reserved.

Not responsible for any loss resulting from the use of this site.
Please read the Site Guide before using this material.
Custom Search