The additional protection plans offered by electronics companies are often of dubious value to consumers, but Intel has just launched one that may be a good value if you like to tweak your processor.
Its new Performance Tuning Protection Plan is designed to provide a replacement CPU in the event of "failures caused by operating the eligible processor outside of Intel’s published specifications" -- i.e, overclocking. (Intel's three-year standard warranty still applies for processor failures while used under Intel's published specs.) Chips eligible for the plan include all Core processors that are unlocked (which have a K or X suffix) and ones that use the LGA2011 socket. The plan works for only the original component, so you cannot receive another processor if you fry the replacement one.
Unlike many other plans of this ilk, the pricing seems reasonable, especially considering that you've probably spent hundreds of dollars on your processor in the first place: From $20 for the Core i5-2500K to $35 for the new Sandy Bridge-E Core i7 CPUs like the i7-3960X. Note that there is a 30-day waiting period before you can redeem your processor.
While Intel still does not endorse overclocking in any official way (nudge, nudge), the unlocked processors and this protection plan show a growing understanding from the chip giant about the importance of overclockers to its bottom line.
The one bit of bad news about the new services is that it a pilot plan that is only being offered for the next six months. So don't delay if you want to purchase the plan, and perhaps strong customer interest will convince Intel to continue it after the pilot period ends. You can find more information from the company about the Performance Tuning Protection Plan here.
Would you consider purchasing the Performance Tuning Protection Plan for your overclocked Intel processor? Let us know in the Talkback section.