Overclocking is no longer the dark art it used to be, and with a little guidance, even your grandmother can push her system past its rated speed with relative ease. That doesn't mean there isn't some risk involved, and if you're truly worried about frying your processor with an aggressive overclock, then you're exactly the person Intel wants to about its "Performance Tuning Protection" plans.
"Intel is pleased to announce the introduction of a new pilot plan targeted at the enthusiast community. The enthusiast community is a critical market segment for Intel and, as such, when the opportunity arises to try out a service or otherwise address the community’s particular needs, we endeavor to do so where practicable," Intel said in a statement. "In this spirit, Intel is announcing a new pilot service plan for 'K', 'X', and LGA2011-socketed boxed processors called the Performance Tuning Protection Plan. This Plan will provide certain out-of-warranty service offerings in the event of damage caused by overclocking or over-voltaging by the user. By purchasing this Plan and meeting the Plan’s criteria, the user can receive a one-time replacement processor if the user’s over-voltaging or over-clocking causes the original processor to fail. This pilot Plan in no way expands, changes or extends the original three year standard warranty and is simply a Plan the user may want to purchase for overclocking or over-voltaging."
The pilot Plan kicks off today and includes four resellers: CyberPower, Canada Computers and Electronics, Scan Computers, and Altech Computers. On February 13, 2012, Intel will add additional resellers to the Plan. In addition, the chip maker is offering its overclocking warranty direct to consumers at the following prices:
Core i5 2500K: $20
Core i7 2600K: $25
Core i7 2700K: $25
Core i7 3930K: $35
Core i7 3960X: $35
Intel is quick to clarify in a related FAQ that these plans are in no way indicative of the chip maker supporting or encouraging overclocking, though on the main page, Intel tells users: "Go ahead and push it, we've got your back."