Fancy trying your hand at overclocking a CPU but don't want to risk your precious silicon? Intel may have just the thing for you. The chip giant has announced a new optional insurance policy for Core i-thingumy owners who want to protect their processors.
The new warranty is good for three years and covers a one time replacement of a processor damaged by overclocking. It goes by the name of Performance Tuning Plan, and costs between $20 and $35 depending on which chip you own.
The offer is being described as in pilot at the moment, available for an initial six month period. Despite the dollar pricing it is available to international customers (except for those living in trade embargoed countries). You can take out Performance Tuning Plan cover on any K or X series chip that's under one year old, and the pricing is pretty reasonable if you need to replace a $1000 chip.
As a safety net for those of you who've heard that it's easy to get a Core i5 2500K up to 4.5GHz on a $20 air cooler but never had the guts to try, there's a lot of merit in this new insurance. Even if overclocking does seem to be proscribed in the terms and conditions:
"[Does not cover] Damage to the Eligible Processor due to external causes, including accident, problems with electrical power, abnormal electrical, mechanical or environmental conditions, usage not in accordance with product instructions, misuse, neglect, alteration, repair, improper installation, or improper testing"
The only thing is whether or not it's worth it. In the best part of two decades, I don't recall ever burning out a CPU from overclocking - although I've lost plenty to burnt pins, broken contacts and other physical misfortunes. With today's CPUs pretty aware of when they get too hot and throttling back intelligently, I'm not sure many other than extreme overclockers who create extreme temperature fluctuations faster than the chip can keep up are likely to ever need to make a claim. In my experience it's far easier to burn out mohterboard components than it is the chip itself.
Still, if you want to spend a few dollars for piece of mind, l certainly would't blame you. Full details are here .