Jump to content


OEM vs Retail

  • Please log in to reply
2 replies to this topic


  • KingParanha
  • Wannabe

  • Pip
  • posts 17

Posted 08 September 2016 - 09:33 PM

I was just wondering what the difference is between OEM Windows and Retail Windows and why there is a difference in price as well.



  • lvmarv
  • Apprentice

  • PipPipPip
  • posts 644

Posted 08 September 2016 - 11:07 PM

OEM is theoretically meant for one build only, but retail can be installed onto another PC as long as that licence key moves with it, ie 1 valid activation  at a time. OEM also means the system builder is the one to provide end user support, whereas a retail version entitles you to support from Microsoft.

  • TomSahz likes this

Ryzen 7 3700x | Asrock Steel Legend B450 | 16GB Kingston Hyper X Fury 3200mhz DDR4 | Sapphire Nitro+ 6700XT | Samsung 970 Evo Plus 1TB | Crucial MX500 1TB | Corsair HX1050W | Silverstone PM01

Ryzen 7 5800x | Gigabyte B550 Aorus Elite | 32GB G.Skill Trident Z Neo 3600mhz DDR4  | PNY XLR8 RTX3080 | Samsung 970 Evo 500GB | Samsung 850 Evo 1TB | eVGA Supernova P2 850W | Lian Li PC-011 Dynamic


  • LinuxUser
  • PriceSpy

  • posts 9,031

Posted 09 September 2016 - 09:31 AM

And one "build" actually means one motherboard – change anything else and there's no problem, but change that and you're supposedly up for a new Windows licence (unless it is the same or an equivalent part due to a hardware failure). I've heard that a phone call will get it activated on a new motherboard no problems, but that doesn't mean it is actually allowed, and certainly doesn't guarantee it'll actually be done.


Furthermore, with the OEM version it is supposed to be installed with some special tool, and then the machine sold to a third party. Or at least that is what I think I remember.


With Windows 10 Home, there isn't a price difference any more. But with Windows 10 Pro, there's a $30 price difference. I'm not sure that Pro is really worth the extra $100 anyway, but I'd probably pay the extra for the retail version just to make sure I can still use it if I upgraded my machine.

Recommended Power Supplies Recommended review sites Why stores shouldn't be removed RAM voltage

i5 7400, Gigabyte GA-B250M-D3H, 16 GB DDR4, integrated graphics, Adata XPG SX8200 480 GB (NVMe), 3x Kingston SSDNow KC380 120 GB, Corsair MX100 128 GB, Spinpoint F3 1TB HDD, DVD writer, all inside a wood case I built, Dell U2412M 24", U2311H 23" IPS and Philips 150B4 15" monitors, wood-bodied mouse, Dvorak keyboard, openSUSE Tumbleweed, Windows 8.1 Pro in a VB VM inside Linux

I may occasionally give advice regarding (consumer) law, but it is only my opinion based on my reading – I am not a lawyer.

Romans 3:23; 6:23; 5:8; 10:9-10,13

1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users