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Original Equipment Manufacturer

OEM, or Original Equipment Manufacturer, products are computer hardware (components and parts) that may or may not be of the same quality as the hardware manufacturer's other good-quality products. Sometimes OEM products are simply overstock that was dumped. But OEM products may just as likely be down-graded versions of their standard hardware products made for a computer manufacturer or the OEM market.

There are a number of disadvantages to OEM products. After all, there are reasons why they come in plain packaging.

1. Besides the fact that any OEM product may be downgraded hardware that differs significantly from the manufacturer's standard line of product,

2. OEM products come with little or no warranty,

3. They come with little or no support,

4. They usually have little, if any, documentation (including a manual!), and

5. They usually come with few, if any, extras like cables and support software.

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