11. What's the difference between an Intel boxed processor
and an OEM version?
The Intel boxed Pentium processor
comes with the Intel Inside® sticker, certificate of
authenticity, product registration card, and a three year
warranty from Intel. Some of the chips also come with an
integrated heatsink/fan/fan cable, but some do not. The
boxed processors come in their own sealed box and are generally
more expensive than 'tray' processors. The boxes these chips
come in are shrink wrapped in a special cellophane that
has 'Intel Corporation' written on it in white lettering.
If it has no Intel writing on the cellophane enclosing the
box, it may have been tampered with. A boxed processor will
have the letters BP as the first two letters in its identification
string. Such as: BP80503200.
Tray processors (often called 'OEM' processors) are loose
units that only come with a heatsink and fan if the third
party distributor bundles them with it (usually they don't).
These processor actually come on a tray, and are not packaged
individually like the Boxed processors. The only warranty
for the chip comes from the vendor (usually one year). Intel
passes no warranty for 'tray' processors onto the consumer.
If your processor bites the dust, the only recourse is to
contact the person you bought it from. If your vendor went
out of business while the chip was still under warranty,
you should try contacting Intel to see if they will be willing
to replace the chip. The non-boxed versions come with the
letters 'A' or 'FV' or 'DC' or 'KB' that begins the identification
string on the chip.
Be aware that some so-called 'tray' processors may have
actually come from the "grey" market where an
Original Equipment Manufacturer will pass on extra chips
that were originally intended to go in OEM machines. These
chips are then sold to customers as 'tray' processors even
though they didn't go through the proper distribution channels.
These chips originally had only a 30 day warranty to allow
the OEM to send back any defects. Of course, this has long
since expired by the time it reaches the hands of a consumer.
Be sure to ask the vendor you are buying from about the
warranty on the chip. These types of loose chips are also
much more likely to be 'remarked' chips than those that
come as 'boxed' or 'tray' processors from an authorized
Intel dealer. If you find a processor that seems like it
has a too-good-to-be-true price, it probably is.
AMD, Cyrix, and Intel all have authorized reseller programs
that legitimate dealers sign up with in order to be assured
that they receive product from authorized sources only.
AMD Boxed processor information: Boxed
AMD warranty information:
to contact AMD.
Intel processor warranty: Intel