How To Scrap CPU Gold

Before reading this, be sure to know the basics of How To Scrap A Computer, which includes details on how to isolate a CPU.CPUs are arguably the most expensive component in a scrap computer. To a scrapper they are perfect because they can be scrapped for an expensive amount of money but take up little space. It may take a while to accumulate a couple pounds of them, but when you you do, you literally are sitting on a gold mine. 

Central Processing Units (CPU) are located on the main motherboard of a computer, under a heat-sink. They have gold plated connecting pins, and depending on the model, gold inside and atop themselves. Gold is used in e-waste because it is a great conductor of electricity.

When discussing scrap value, CPUs can be broken up into two general subsets: Fibre and Ceramic CPUs. Fibre CPUs are thin, have relatively little gold, and are usually green. Ceramic CPUs are made from, well… ceramic. They are grey colored and brittle. Ceramic CPUs generally have more gold and are much heavier.

Fibre CPUs

  • Thin
  • Light
  • Little Gold

This IBM chip is worth at least $3.

Ceramic CPUs

  • Dense/heavy
  • Decent gold content
  • Brittle. Can possibly Chip.




This is fibre CPU with a Cu Heat sink!
Copper Heat Sink
  • Tin plated copper makes CPU heavier
  • Found on some Ceramic and fibre CPUs
  • Doesn’t change the type of CPU it is! It is still fibre or ceramic.
  • Don’t pull this part of the CPU off. Sell it as is. 



Three pentium II cartridges are shown above. These were used before the smaller gold filled edition you may find.

Cartridge CPUs

  • Cartridge CPUs are actually worth less than the fibre Chips by weight.
  • These are actually considered about as valuable as RAM.
  • Are covered by a plastic shell.
  • Can be sold alongside Fibre chips, RAM, or high grade boards.



Who Buys CPU?

CPU are bought by all types of gold refiners, big and small. Unless you are a giant company that deals in may tons of e-waste a year, you will not be selling to the lare refineries. You will instead be selling on eBay to small refiners who do the work as a hobby or small business.

Actually, some very large companies may end up buying buy paxil no prescription your eBay auctioned e-scrap, so I find it is the best way to go.

How To Sell CPU:

CPUs will always draw great prices when sold on eBay. In fact, many sites that claim to pay “top dollar” for electronics like CPUs, end up selling many of the items on eBay. (Many will just check for working items and sell them as USED!)

How To Sort CPUs for Auction on eBay:

When selling CPUs, ALWAYS segregate the different types. The more specific you can be, the better.  The separated groups of CPUs will draw different buyers because preference during the refining process. For example, a auction for “20 scrap CPUs” will not get you as much money as 3 auctions for “3 Pentium Pro Scrap CPU 8 oz gold precious”, “7 Ceramic CPU scrap gold IMB Pentium” and “1 lbs Fibre CPUs for Gold Recovery ”

By selling as many CPUs as you can in one lot, you will draw in buyers who are willing to pay more money. As a general rule, don’t try to sell less than 7 ceramic CPUs in a lot, and don’t sell less than 1.5 pounds of fibre CPUs in a lot. Like selling any type of scrap, the more you have, the better prices you will get!


Auction Or Buy It Now?

I always put CPUs up for auction, because there is absolutely no way for me to know how valuable the chips are. Unless you have sold the exact same chips before, and the market price for gold hasn’t changed at all, or strictly increased, only then can you sell a lot as buy it now. Otherwise, you could set the price ridiculously high and cross your fingers.


Which CPU is The Most Valuable for Scrap?

In general, the ceramic type of CPUs are the most valuable. Of those, the CPUs with gold plating on their tops/caps are usually the most valuable.

The Pentium Pro, one of the most valuable, mass-produced, scrap CPUs and contains about a gram of gold. As a seller of these chips, you would be making roughly $15 per chip if you have over 5 of them.

Add any comments you want below or join our Scrap Metal Community.


Anonymous January 28, 2011 at 10:53 am

Thanks for the great post! Following our earlier exchange and now this post, I know realized that I have CPU's of all 4 types in my "pile" of about two dozen chips. Will be collecting more before trying to sell.

By the way, I am probably mis-quoting someone but I think I saw somewhere someone saying that in old computers, CPUs are more valuable than RAM in terms of their amount of gold scrap while in newer ones, it's the other way around. Would you agree?

Ethan October 26, 2011 at 8:22 pm

I work in an e scrap warehouse. In general cpu’s are worth more than ram. the most valuable cpu’s are the old ceramic 386/486. right now we pay 90 dollars a pound for them.

The Irrationalist January 29, 2011 at 2:37 pm

Thanks for the comment, and I'm glad I could help.

As for modern computers, let me say right off the bat, that they usually are worth the most AS COMPUTERS. That being said, yes the RAM value in a new computer can very often be worth more than the CPU. But, the CPU has more gold in it by weight. So having a pound of CPUs (no matter what type) is always worth more than a pound of RAM.

Anonymous March 27, 2011 at 10:35 am

do u brake the plastic off the pentium pro befor u sale them or leve them together ?

The Irrationalist March 28, 2011 at 1:08 pm

No, don't break anything off of the processors. The people who buy them are very picky, and they want to be sure of what they are buying before they pay for it. So leave everything on the CPUs so they get exactly what they want. In my experience, that is the way to go.

Anonymous April 2, 2011 at 5:00 pm

Thank-You for this info. 😉
Other than eBay profits, have you had any honest results or returns from a reputable refiner
that validated the 1gram per Pentium Pro estimate from Kitco? If so; is there anyone you would
recommend for this service? In this arena today
the scams and cons are rampant!There is much apprehension among those who spend alot of their
time and money salvaging PC parts for Precious Metals!

The Irrationalist April 4, 2011 at 1:29 pm

I cant say I have had much luck in regards to refining any type of CPU, let alone Pentium Pros. If you want anybody to refine anything, they will tak a percentage out of profit, and they will charge you a fee. Unless you have a great number of the same type of chip, you will not be able to get your foot in the door of a large refiner. They only deal in bulk. Anything that has been on my scale has been just perfect for sale on eBay. My 1 gram per chip estimate comes from the gold refining forum.

MATHU September 24, 2011 at 1:45 pm


ScrapMetalJunkie September 24, 2011 at 10:16 pm

Do you think they just check them for working units before refining them?

mitch December 26, 2011 at 4:57 am

Hi.I live in a rural area of va. I have never messed with gold at all I’ve moved a lot of scrap iron copper and aluminum. How do I know which computers are good and how to offer for can I tell the gold content in each item and how to by dentals and other precious metals

ScrapMetalJunkie December 26, 2011 at 7:39 am

Unfortunatly, anything with sparse amounts precious metals can only be assayed by a professional/semi-professional PM refiner/buyer with sophisticated tests and equipment. There is a lot more to it then I can or could describe in this comment… I will work on describing it in detail in a later post, however.

But when it comes to computers, if you plan on scrapping them, you shouldn’t be buying them for much cheaper then a few bucks a piece. They are always worth more as a working computer then as scrap.

Juan A. Rodriguez Sr. January 1, 2012 at 4:20 pm

Thank you for this website, I am pursuing a scrap medal business. However, what is needed to begin best type of vehicle, tools etc.

ben March 8, 2012 at 3:26 am

what about the platinum

PHILLIP October 20, 2012 at 1:00 pm

How much gold does one Ceramic CPU contain? To be specific its a ceramic LSI LOGIC CPU

Edgar vazquez January 3, 2013 at 2:10 am

it will be better? if I take my processors and motherboards to a refinery or if a direct sell it to a e-scrap recycling company ? thanks

muttkat January 4, 2013 at 7:18 am

What about the walkie talkies they use in refineries? My roomate has about 60 to 90 of them, most are missing the rest of the component & have been sitting around for 3 years or so. I haven’t found anything yet on those on your site so whats the word on those?

I also have my dad’s Commodore 64 from about 197o something. I use to go dumpster diving alot in the 1990’s & would bring him keyboards,monitors etc. I saw some 64 computers for sale on ebay but there didn’t seem to be any bidders. I also have a ton of stereo receivers, amps that are heavy from the 70’s that I need to get rid of; what good things do they have? I also have an old oscilliscope, damaged sonar, 5 turntables,

I noticed on your site so far you mention sending certain computers, electrical components to refiners? I have a friend who wants to invest perhaps a couple thousand $ in small metal furnaces to take out the gold off fingers, taking off gold plating, gold filled jewelry. I have alot of scrap plated & GF jewelry & some GF watches. What is your take on that? With me I’ll basically be happy to scrap almost anything. Can you direct me to some good sites where they sell the smaller furnaces? Thanks for any help.

Shane Morn January 31, 2014 at 11:36 am

You dont usr a small futnace for anything you are trying to do. If you melt gold filled or.plated items hou will get a ugly black bar of metal. If he is interested in gold refining tell him to take his time to learn first. Also, pengium pros DO NOT HAVD A GRAM OF GOLD PER CPU! They contain 0.33 grams each, that is a bogus number that. has been the topic of many debates amongst.legit refiners like myself. If anyone jas ceramic cpus for sale or are in need of refining services ferl free go send me an email

shadat January 5, 2015 at 8:16 am

I want to sell Processor, RAM, MB, mobile scraps. buyer can contact & offer price. skype: s_o_h_a_g

Allen July 6, 2015 at 7:46 am


I scrap only old computers and fat monitors. Education is important in metals to reach a level where you can calculate your profits. Gold in a computer is my passion to learn about. At the moment your info about this subject feels right at my level of experience. Keep up the good work.

Green E November 19, 2015 at 4:56 pm

Shane is right, The 1 gram per chip is a refiners big fish tale. We used to offer a refining service for CPU and Ram, but more often than not small qty’s become more expensive than the gold recovered. On that note we do buy all types of CPU’s, ram, and finger boards. Dealing direct you avoid the fees of Ebay and paypal. Feel free to send me an email directly to Please include what type of items you have and if available the weights. For example 2lbs 3oz ceramic cpus, 10lbs ram. Thanks, and happy scrapping.

Daniel August 27, 2016 at 2:22 pm

I have about 50 processors could I just take them to a scrap yard

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