The OEM and the Retail processors are the same with just a couple differences. The Retailed boxed processor comes with a HSF (heatsink/fan) and a 3 year warranty. The OEM only has a 1 year warranty and doesnt come with a HSF. Also our new Performance Tuning Plan would not be an option for the OEM processor. http://click.intel.com/tuningplan/
Yes, up till recently if you overclocked any of our processors you understood that you were voiding your warranty. Last week we released the Intel® Performance Tuning Protection Plan. For the Intel Core™ i5-2500K it only costs $20 and it matches up with the normal warranty to extend the warranty to cover things that would have normally voided the warranty on the old processor. So if you run DDR 3 1600 memory you won't void your warranty. If you overclock the processor to 5GHz and you overvolt it to reach that speed you can still get a replacement from us on any of our 2nd generation Intel Core processors that are unlocked.
In other words, if I plan on overclocking straight away, I will need to pay approximately £181 for both the 2500k and the tuning plan to get 3 years warranty. Otherwise, I could get an OEM with practically no warranty for £150
Considering I'm planning to overclock between 4 and 4.5GHz (which appears to be easily and safely attainable) with DDR3 1600 memory, would you say from your experience the 3 years warranty is worth it? How reliable is the 2500k?
The Intel® Core™ i5-2500K is extremely reliable just like all of the 2nd generation Intel Core processors. The only thing that I hear that leads to problems is using memory that is outside of the 1.5 ±5% voltage.
The advantage of the tuning plan is that I am covered for how I intend to use the product. Using DDR 3 1600 or overclocking it to 4+GHz or playing with the Vcore as I try to get the highest stable speed out of it means that I am covered. So do I have to have the tuning plan? Nope it just gives me a little pease of mind.
Im just going to have to but in here and throw the wanna-be salesmen under water.
If you know what your doing while overclocking your fine, warranty is ***. You dont see that many frying cpu's. When a cpu goes out its usually 3-8 generations old.
Here is how im gonna break this down.
1. Know what your doing, (not a novice but not a master)
2. Not a drastic oc, (like those getting over 4.6+, which apparently is easy)
3. HIGH performance cooling
If all of these apply to you, than OEM. Oc your current cpu for experience find its max as your goal, research temps and voltage. Temps and voltage are what kills a cpu, you can oc and keep the same temps and voltage with a good cooler and mild oc. There is no need for you to oc more than 4GHZ unless you are super wealthy with 7970 crossfire.
I hope this helps.
That warranty is worthless, almost every extended warranty out there is a scam.
Not gonna lie, if I did buy that warranty at the end of it I would purposely fry my cpu just for another to resale and upgrade. I know a lot of others are thinking it to.
In reference to your list:
1) I've never overclocked before, but plan on reading and understanding overclocking tutorials before I start trying to avoid stupid mistakes; also planning on doing cpu stress tests like prime95 for 24 hours to make sure it is stable
2) I'm planning on a maximum of 4.5GHz overclock at as low a stable voltage as possible, but then I dont want to risk destroying £150, so will follow your advice on a mild oc until i 'need' a more aggressive one
3) I have a thermalright truespirit 120 air cooler which was the best budget cooler I could find
And I was thinking the same of that warranty... push it as far as possible as a tutorial overclocking session, and get a replacement However, £30 is still a fair amount of money!