After 9 years, Intel has today begun wrapping up the Performance Tuning Protection Plan service, the company’s optional extended warranty for CPU overclocking. As of today, Intel no longer sells new PTP plans, and the program will switch to serve existing warranties while they are still active. Intel’s warranty service was quite unique throughout the industry; Given the potentially destructive nature of overclocking, it is almost unheard of to be covered, even by optional warranties.
Intel originally launched the Performance Tuning Protection Plan back in January 2012, in the midst of the heyday of Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge CPU overclocking (ed: has it really taken that long?). At the time, anywhere between $ 20 and $ 35, Intel would offer a one-time warranty that specifically covered damages due to overclocking ̵
When Intel launched the program, it was originally started as a six-month trial period, where we saw enough success to become a long-term offering for Intel, covering all overclockable Intel consumer chips including their massive HEDT parts. Although the program made it very affordable to overcook an Intel processor for a little more than the price of a pizza, the seemingly one-time replacement limitation did its job, as stories of people trying to abuse the program have been few and far between.
Nevertheless, PTPP’s days have finally come to an end. In a statement posted on the plan’s website, Intel announced that the program was discontinued, referring to “When customers increasingly overclock with confidence, we see lower demand for Performance Tuning Protection Plans.”
And while Intel does not provide any specific numbers to back it up, it’s generally not surprising to hear that demand is down. Since the overclocking of the Sandy Bridge has become much less fruitful; With Turbo Boost Max 3.0, Thermal Velocity Boost and other turbo technologies, Intel has begun to wring out most of the clockspeed headroom from its CPUs right out of the box. At the same time, the top clock speed has stopped a little over 5 GHz, and the much larger core numbers of today’s CPUs mean that Intel separates its parts based on core count more than it does based on clock speeds. So unlike the Sandy Bridge era, where you can easily expect to add 1 GHz (or more) to a $ 216 i5-2500K, a modern i5-10600K is lucky to achieve half of that thanks to the fact that they have already started with a maximum clock speed of 4.8 GHz. . Finally, although CPU overclocking is far from dead, it no longer delivers major, simple performance improvements as it once did.
In any case, with the retirement of PPTP, Intel is transitioning to serving existing warranties. Intel chip owners who have already purchased a plan are still covered for the length of the warranty, which rides on top of Intel’s standard 3-year warranty. So Intel will still replace a handful of chips for a few more years yet.