Both AMD and Intel sell chips with unlocked upper multipliers, but their warranty terms make it pretty clear that any overclocking is done at your own risk. Well, that might be about to change. Intel's has announced a six-month pilot program called the Performance Tuning Protection Plan. Users who purchase the plan are eligible for a "one-time replacement" if they damage their CPUs by overvolting or overclocking.
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 we are looking at more opportunities to serve that community. 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 over-clocking 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 over-clocking or over-voltaging.
This pilot Plan will be launched on January 18, 2012, at 12:01AM PST and last for six months. The first phase of the Plan will include 4 resellers: CyberPower*, Canada Computers and Electronics*, Scan Computers*, and Altech Computers*. On February 13, 2012, Intel plans to add additional resellers to the Plan. Intel will also be providing the Plan directly to customers at the following website: http://www.intel.com/go/tuningplan for the duration of the Plan. Intel will evaluate the Plan throughout the six months and decide whether or not to proceed past the pilot phase.
For more information please visit http://www.intel.com/go/tuningplan.
Intel evidently charges $20-35 per plan depending on the processor—roughly 10% of the cost of the retail-boxed product. Depending on how aggressive you intend to get with overclocking, that might or might not be a good deal. Too bad the first phase doesn't seem to involve big e-tailers like Newegg and Amazon, though.