Debunking 5 myths of third-party upgrades

If your business is looking to scale down on data center spending without compromising hardware performance and lifecycles, third-party upgrades may be the ideal solution for your business. For those who are unfamiliar with third-party upgrades, commonly held misconceptions may initially skew one’s perspective about non-OEM hardware. In this article, we will debunk prevailing myths to show how third-party upgrades can greatly benefit your business.

 X Myth: Data center upgrades are expensive in general 

 O Fact: Third-party upgrades help businesses save money 

Businesses are finding themselves spending more money, more frequently as they address growing data requirements. Reports indicate that global IT spending is projected to eclipse 4 trillion in 2021, an 8.4% increase from 2020.1 A substantial portion of this spending is tied to the pricing of OEM hardware. While the OEMs have traditionally served as the de facto vendors of data center hardware, businesses are paying a premium for OEM name value alone. In a constantly transforming IT landscape, an OEM-centric spending model inflates CapEx and is no longer cost-effective when upgrading data center hardware.

Third-party upgrades challenge the notion that upgrading hardware has to be expensive. With a reliable OEM alternative like Axiom, businesses can save up to 65% on server memory. Just as importantly, third-party hardware performs at an equivalent or even superior level to its OEM counterparts. The affordability and performance of third-party upgrades enable businesses to lower CapEx or allocate spending elsewhere. With a third-party maintenance platform like Axiom Maintenance Services (AMS), businesses can also reduce OpEx by moving away from expensive OEM maintenance contracts.

 X Myth: Using third-party upgrades voids warranties 

 O Fact: Third-party upgrades do not void warranties 

For those unfamiliar with third-party upgrades, one of the biggest misconceptions is that using third-party upgrades will void the OEM warranty. This is false and there is legal precedence that rules out this notion completely. As pointed out in the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, under code 15 USC 2302(c), warrantors cannot require that only branded parts be used with the product in order to retain the warranty.2 This kind of provision is a “tie-in sales” provision and manufacturers have no legal grounds to enforce this kind of policy.

From a business perspective, customers switching to third-party upgrades goes against the OEM’s best interests. As such, there have been instances where OEMs have tried to dissuade users from using non-OEM hardware. Nevertheless, as is the case across industries from automotive to computer hardware and more, customers are protected by the warranty laws as well as the Sherman Antitrust Act. Businesses can feel stress-free knowing that they are able to run OEM and third-party upgrades side-by-side without fear of violating warranties.

 X Myth: OEM parts cannot be used interchangeably with third-party upgrades 

 O Fact: Third-party upgrades are compatible with OEM equivalents 

Another myth is that third-party hardware is not compatible with OEM equipment. Much like the concern with voiding the warranty, however, this is also a misconception. Generally speaking, as long as the specs and timings are the same and the memory modules are correctly configured in the system, OEM and third-party memory can run flawlessly with each other. Users often mix and match memory from different brands without any issues.

Reliable third-party solutions providers like Axiom are backed by a quality engineering and support team that carries out extensive testing to ensure the performance of its RAM offerings and compatibility with OEM brands. Based off a well-organized and carefully curated database of hardware parts, Axiom’s configurator ensures that users can find the correct, OEM-equivalent parts for their system with guaranteed compatibility and high performance.

 X Myth: The quality of third-party upgrades is not as good as the OEM 

 O Fact: Third-party upgrades are manufactured using only the best components 

As is the case with any product, hardware quality often comes down to sourcing and quality control in the supply chain. While these factors may vary between hardware providers, Axiom is a well-established solutions provider with over 25 years of experience in the memory solutions market. Working with vendors from all over the globe, Axiom has carefully vetted its suppliers in the supply chain to ensure the procurement of only the highest quality components. Axiom memory modules, storage devices, transceivers and other products are manufactured using only top tier components. Benchmark testing by our engineers validates Axiom product performance to be on par or even surpassing the performance of OEM-equivalent parts.

 X Myth: Most non-OEM hardware are not TAA-compliant 

 O Fact: Third-party upgrades are TAA-compliant 

Many government related industries have requirements for hardware to be TAA- (Trade Agreements Act) compliant. With its carefully built out supply chain and manufacturing processes, Axiom offers a lineup of TAA-compliant solutions that are either manufactured or substantially altered in an FTA (Federal Trade Agreement) designated country. Our part number schema AXG helps customers identify which products are TAA-compliant, helping them avoid fines or bans related to TAA regulations.

Count on Axiom for third party upgrades

Contact an Axiom representative today to learn more about our full lineup of cost-effective, OEM-equivalent or better performance memory, storage, connectivity solutions and more. Click here to view our full lineup and learn more about our extensive lineup of hardware solutions.

1 “Gartner Forecasts Worldwide IT Spending to Reach $4 Trillion in 2021,” Gartner, accessed September 6th, 2021,
2 “15 U.S. Code § 2302 - Rules governing contents of warranties,” Cornell Law School, accessed September 15th, 2021,