Many scrappers and community members in our forum have asked us how to determine the differences in CPU chips when they are working with their e-scrap because it is not an easy thing to do…so let’s go over how to do it and how you should sort and separate your CPUs to maximize your profits when scrapping.
What Kind of Metals Are In CPU Chips?
Before we go into how to sort and separate the CPUs, it is important to know what metals are in them in order to learn how the pricing works. Generally there are three metals in CPU Chips and they are: Silver, Gold, and Copper. Most of the time the primary metals are only gold and copper, but you can find silver in there. Many people want to melt down the CPU Chips, but we have found that that is a very hard and time demanding thing to do…and that is IF you do it right. So…our advice, sell it like it is.
What Kind of CPU Chip Do I Have For Scrap?
There are many types of CPU chips that you can scrap from a computer. They are all different based on the types of computers they come from and what they are used for. To help you figure out what kind of CPU you have, we have a few pictures and types that you can look out for.
Most Valuable: Ceramic CPU’s – Gold
These are CPUs that are from much older computers and generally are worth the most money. These are not too desirable for being refurbished because they are not being used too often, but the gold content in them is certainly the highest.
For the Ceramics there are two types of ceramic chips to sort and separate. Ones with gold on both sides and then ones that have gold on only one side. The ones that are worth more money will have gold on both sides, and these chips are generally the older style chips that were made in the 1980’s or 1990’s.
Less Valuable: Plastic CPU’s – Gold
These CPU Chips are the ones that have smaller gold pins sticking out and have a plastic back. Many of these were introduced in the 2000’s when computers became much more mass produced and because of that they started making cheaper chips with more and more of the computer companies really mass producing these laptops and desktop units.
These chips are still good, but because they started to become more of the mass produced units they were forced to cut down on the precious metals that went into them.
Least Valuable: Plastic CPUs – Copper
While our names for these might not be exactly correct, for scrap and sorting purposes we have found that it is very helpful.
These units are being made even cheaper then the plastic ones, and they have copper on them to help move along with the quicker and cheaper processes even more.
These tend to be the cheapest of all of the CPUs and there are normally two types of chips that have the copper on them. Some of the chips will have little gold pins sticking out, but some of the even newer ones have very small gold contacts on them and that means that there is even less copper then ever before.
These are the lowest grade CPU Chip and because of that we have by far the cheapest chip when it comes to scrapping.
Our Advice: Hold Onto Your Scrap CPU’s
These chips are very light, on average you will need 10-15 chips to make up one pound of material, and because of that it will take a long long time to really accumulate the weight that you need to cash in. We suggest that if you are collecting a lot of computers and laptops on a regular basis, it would be worth it for you to save and store your CPU chips so you can cash in a couple times a year for a large quantity.
By knowing what type of chips that you have, that will enable you to sort and separate your chips so you make the most money for them. By doing this you will maximize your profits and you may even be able to resell some of the chips that you get in scrap to e-scrap refurbishers or on a platform like eBay. Many CPU chips are still in great condition when being removed from computers, therefore may not have to be scrapped but instead can be used again.
Suggested Reading: How To: Destroy, Recycle, & Scrap Hard Drives
Other Computer Parts To Save for Scrap
When you are putting the CPU Chips aside do not forget to look for some of these items as well: