I had heard this might be coming, but today Intel made it official. The Performance Tuning Protection Plan is a $20 - $35 plan that you'll be able to purchase either from Intel or one of its approved resellers, starting today. Typically if your CPU dies because you push it too far while overclocking, it's not covered by Intel's 3-year warranty. If you purchase the PTPP for your CPU however, you are given a single replacement free of charge. Any future damage isn't covered and the replacement is only available as long as your CPU is still covered under its original warranty. And no, you can't buy multiple plans for the same CPU.

A table of supported CPUs and PTPP cost are below:

Intel Performance Tuning Protection Plan
Intel Core i7 3960X $35
Intel Core i7 3930K $35
Intel Core i7 2700K $25
Intel Core i7 2600K $25
Intel Core i5 2500K $20

These plans are only available on retail, boxed CPUs. The plans can be transferred between owners if you sell your CPU and you're allowed to own multiple plans, just not on the same CPU. Finally, you can't request a replacement CPU in the first 30 days of purchasing the plan. 

This is very much a trial for Intel. Intel will only offer the PTPP for the next 6 months, at which point it will likely regroup and measure the effectiveness of the program. Intel also reserves the right to change the terms of the plan or discontinue it at its own leisure. Presumably if you purchase one of the plans however you'll be covered until your warranty runs out. 

Most end users (including enthusiast overclockers) will likely not benefit from this additional coverage. It's really for the competitive overclockers and the folks who are truly pushing the limits of what Intel's silicon can do. I can definitely see the value for the hardcore overclocking community.

Source: Intel

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  • r3loaded - Wednesday, January 18, 2012 - link

    Translation of the above: you don't need it unless you're sending 1.5v+ through your CPU and/or using sub-ambient cooling. Even (most) water coolers need not apply.
  • c4v3man - Wednesday, January 18, 2012 - link

    They'll offer it for free with their high-end CPU's. Why not throw it in for free on X series CPU's. While most anyone here would agree that a $599 3930K or $1000+ 3960X are not worth it, I could see it being a great value add to have this thrown in for free. Then it comes down to more of a $319 2600K vs $599 3930K, where you can get a free replacement if it dies. So you might end up even or ahead in the end if you like to push the heck out of your system.
  • stadisticado - Wednesday, January 18, 2012 - link

    But, why would they give this away for free (or implicit in the price)? They already provide a warranty that covers the vast majority of usage scenarios. I think all that what you suggest would encourage is for Intel to further increase prices on the high-end chips.
  • Beenthere - Wednesday, January 18, 2012 - link

    This is like selling any other insurance - It's very profitable for the seller because few folks will ever get their money's worth out of the deal. One CPU replacement for $20-$35 should fill Intel coffers nicely. This is a sucker play.
  • Hector2 - Thursday, January 19, 2012 - link

    except that it's likely that the majority of people who would buy the insurance will be overclockers and a much higher percentage of them will be blowing up their CPUs
  • Beenthere - Friday, January 20, 2012 - link

    How many people blow up CPUs now with OC'ing? Remember you only get ONE free replacement.
  • ClagMaster - Wednesday, January 18, 2012 - link

    I look at this replacement plan and simply shake my head at the stupidity.

    Intel should make the insane enthusiasts who deliberately destroy their CPUs replace their CPU's retail.
  • piroroadkill - Thursday, January 19, 2012 - link

    Do you think Intel would do it if they weren't confident?

    I doubt lots of people will want to deliberately destroy their CPUs. They only get one replacement, too.
  • Mr Perfect - Thursday, January 19, 2012 - link

    You can be sure this program is designed to be profitable. It will work like any insurance plan, total money collected from consumers is higher then total money paid back.
  • charleski - Wednesday, January 18, 2012 - link

    I've read the Ts&Cs and the FAQ on the Intel site, and frankly, I'm confused. It says it'll cover the processor 'if it fails' - so you're covered if you're dumb enough to pump the Vcore up to 1.7V and fry the CPU (as long as you wait a month before doing so). But most degradation from increased voltage and frequency is far more subtle - after a couple of years you'll start getting BSoDs under load and need to turn up the voltage or lower your OC.

    I've been overclocking since the 300A and had a couple of CPUs slowly wear down, but they would still work fine at stock speeds - would they have been covered under this plan? I have a sneaky suspicion the answer is no, and that Intel would refuse to replace a CPU that could still manage stock but couldn't handle 4GHz any more. But I can't see any language that explicitly defines what 'fails' means in terms of this plan.

    Maybe Anandtech could get Intel to clarify?

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