Did you know that computer processors have gold in them? Well, since you’re already wondering how much gold is there in a computer processor, you probably do!
A processor’s pins, caps and internal wiring have more or less gold because it is a good conductor and very malleable. But you will only get low quantities of gold from a CPU, from less than 0.1 grams to around 0.3 grams of gold per processor.
Even with soaring gold prices nowadays, you won’t make a fortune by collecting the gold from old (or new) CPUs and finding the really valuable one is becoming more and more difficult.
Because, yes, some processors have more gold than others. Usually, the older processors can yield more gold than newer ones because the latter use newer technologies that don’t rely as much on gold.
But let’s find out more about this really interesting topic and find out how much gold you should expect to get from a computer’s processor
How much gold is there in a CPU?
There is no clear answer to that, as the amount of gold in computer processors varies from model to model. Different processors have different quantities of gold.
Usually, the older models (think 386 and 486 back in the day) have the highest quantity of gold, as they have not only the pins and internal wiring coated with gold, but also the processor’s cap.
Even on these older models, though, don’t expect to get too much gold. The best you can hope for is something like 0.5 grams of gold, but usually it will be something like 0.1 grams or even less.
New models are not using as much gold as they were before. Not only that the advancements in the tech world made it easier to find cheaper alternatives, but they can also use VERY thin coatings of gold on the products – sometimes less than 1 micron thick.
This means that gold quantities in modern processors are usually negligible.
Among the best processors in terms of gold content, we have the Intel Pentium Pro, the Intel 486 and 386, but also AMD K5 or Intel 8000-series processors.
How much money can you make from the gold in computer processors?
Unfortunately, you won’t get rich from harvesting gold from old computer processors – at least not unless you have thousands and thousands of them.
Have in mind that at the moment of writing this article, a gram of gold is around $60.
This means that the best you can hope for is getting around $30 worth of gold from a computer’s CPU. But in reality, even from older models, you will only get around $6 to $10 worth of gold per processor.
Not as good as some people let you believe!
But it’s still money to be made if you can get your hand on these old processors for free – or if you have some at home. For example, if you have 100 processors, you can get anything from $600 to $3,000 worth of gold out of them.
Also, have in mind that older motherboards also have small quantities of gold, so if you have old computers, you can increase the gold value a bit.
Why is gold used in a Processor?
There are various reasons why gold is used in a computer’s CPU, the most important being that it is a material that is an extremely efficient conductor for electricity and also very durable.
But let’s talk a bit more about all the reasons why gold is used in a computer’s processor!
Corrosion-free & durable
Gold is an amazing and highly efficient conductor. It is also corrosion-free. This makes it more durable, increasing the shelf life of the products it is used on. Also, gold won’t rust.
Malleable and ductile
Gold is also extremely malleable and ductile, making it a perfect choice for the wiring components inside the CPU itself.
This also means that, as technology evolved, thinner layers are now possible to be added to the components, offering the same benefits but using less gold.
The gold has the amazing property of sticking to the materials that it is coated on. Unlike silver, for example, gold has a better connectivity and is not expected to fall off or chip.
It also works faster than other metals and materials when it comes to transferring energy.
Can you extract gold from CPUs at home?
Getting the gold out of your computer’s processor is not going to be an easy task. If you want to do it at home, be warned that there are lots of precautions you should take, because you will have to use potentially toxic chemicals and sharp tools in the process.
For most individuals, especially those without any prior experience, extracting gold from a CPU is difficult to say the least. Therefore only do this if you are 100% confident that it is something you can do – otherwise, it can be dangerous.
So before even starting the process, make sure that you take all the precautions needed – the most important of them being listed below:
- wear solid rubber gloves, eye goggles for protection and a safety mask to protect you from inhaling chemical fumes.
- make sure you are in a large enough area that is well ventilated and you have no flammable materials around.
- when handling sharp tools, make sure to do so with utmost care.
- never leave any of the materials you use during the process unattended.
With these basic precautions in mind, let’s check out the important part:
How to extract gold from the processor?
Apart from the safety items listed above and the processor(s), you will also need a screwdriver, an ATX power supply tester, cable testers and multi-testers.
You will also need the chemical products used in the recovery of gold: Borax, Hydrogen Peroxide, Muriatic Acid and Methyl Hydrate.
The Chemical Bath Method
As the name suggests, this means soaking your processor (and motherboard if you have it) into a bath of checmicals that will break down the precious metals.
This will also separate other metals from the processor, not just gold. You will get copper, zinc and nickel – all of which are much less valuable, though.
First, if your processor has an aluminum cap, remove it together with anything else that you can remove – carefully use a sharp tool like a screwdriver for this.
In a bucket large enough to hold your items, you will need to add Muriatic acid and a 2-5% solution of hydrogen peroxide in a ratio of 2:1. This will activate the acid and it will start bubbling.
With your safety gear properly equipped, place the processor in the liquid and it will start dissolving it.
Important: The fumes released during this process are extremely dangerous and they could harm your eyes or even cause you to faint. This is why protection is extremely important at this stage!
As the acid breaks down the gold, it will start floating on top of the liquit, looking like some thin golden flakes.
These can be removed using wooden tools (wash them properly immediately after use) or you can get them through straining. You can even use a coffee filter for this – just make sure you will not reuse that filter again!
Some people claim that extracting gold from a processor or computer is a very lucrative method. In reality, though, there isn’t much money to be made if you only have one processor or a few.
Also, buying old computers to turn them into gold is also usually not profitable. It’s best to just buy the best laptop for personal use and enjoy it as it is!
But depending on the situation and your background – especially how open you are to using chemical methods to extract gold from a processor, this could be easier to do than others might consider it.
Also, if you already have a lot of old processors and motherboards just laying around, it could be profitable. This is up for you to decide, now that you know how much gold is in a processor.