Intel's new Core i5 chip qualifies for protection plan

A Core i5-2550K processor malfunctioning due to extreme overclocking could be replaced under Intel's new protection plan

Intel has rolled out a handful of new Core i5 desktop processors, including one that raises the clock speed and qualifies for a new protection plan under which CPUs can be replaced.

The quad-core Core i5-2550K runs at a clock speed of 3.4GHz and is based on the Sandy Bridge microarchitecture. The fastest clock speed in the Core i5 desktop processor line was previously provided by the Core i5-2500K chip, which ran at 3.3GHz.

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The chip qualifies for replacement under Intel's Performance Tuning Protection Plan, which is a pilot program the company started last month. The plan provides certain out-of-warranty service offerings and replacements in case of damage caused by overclocking or overvoltage of a chip. The plan is separate from a three-year standard warranty that comes with Intel chips.

Chips with the K moniker are targeted at enthusiasts and are unlocked so that those who want to overclock can change settings like turbo, memory, core voltage and other features. The other chips qualifying for the protection plan include the X and LGA2011-socketed boxed processors.

The plan is available directly from Intel, but the Core i5-2550K chip is not yet listed on the Web page that has information about the program. Protection plans for K-chips and X-chips are priced at $20 to $35.

This protection plan includes CyberPower, Canada Computers and Electronics, Scan Computers, and Altech Computers in its first phase. More resellers will be added on Feb. 13, and Intel will decide in six months whether to continue offering the protection plan.

The Core i5-2550K has 6MB of cache and is priced at $225 in units of 1,000.

The other new Core i5 desktop processors include the quad-core i5-2450P, which runs at a clock speed of 3.2GHz and is priced at $195, and i5-2380P, which runs at a clock speed of 3.1GHz and is priced at $177. The chips have 6MB of cache.

The new Core i5 chips with the P moniker do not have integrated graphics capabilities, an Intel spokesman said.

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