Different Kinds of Scrap CPU Chips

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?

Knowing what metals are in them before sorting and separating the CPUs is essential to learn how the pricing works. Generally, there are three metals in CPU Chips: Silver, Gold, and Copper. Most of the time, the primary metals are only gold and copper, but you can find silver there. Many people want to melt down the CPU Chips, but we have found that that is a challenging and time-demanding thing to do…and that is IF you do it right. So…our advice is to sell it like it is.

Suggested Reading: How To Take Apart A Computer for a CPU Chip

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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 determine what kind of CPU you have, we have a few pictures and types you can look for.

Most Valuable: Ceramic CPUs – Gold

These CPUs are from much older computers and are generally worth the most money. These are not desirable for refurbishment because they are not used often, but their gold content is undoubtedly the highest.

There are two types of ceramic chips to sort and separate for the Ceramics. Some had gold on both sides, and others 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 1980s or 1990s.

Less Valuable: Plastic CPUs – Gold

These CPU chips are the ones that have smaller gold pins sticking out and a plastic back. Many of these were introduced in the 2000s when computers became much more mass-produced. Because of that, they started making cheaper chips, and more and more computer companies began mass-producing these laptops and desktop units.

These chips are still good, but because they started to become more 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 correct, we have found that it benefits scrap and sorting.

These units are being made even cheaper than the plastic ones, and they have copper on them to help move along with the quicker and cheaper processes even more.

These are the cheapest of all CPUs, and two types of chips usually have copper on them. Some chips will have little gold pins sticking out, but some newer ones have tiny gold contacts, meaning there is even less copper than ever.

These are the lowest-grade CPU Chips, and because of that, we have by far the cheapest chip for scrapping.

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:

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Our Advice: Hold Onto Your Scrap CPUs

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 accumulate the weight you need to cash in. We suggest that if you are collecting a lot of computers and laptops regularly, it would be worth saving and storing your CPU chips so you can cash in a couple of times a year for a large quantity.

Knowing what type of chips you have will enable you to sort and separate your chips to make the most money for them. Doing this will maximize your profits, and you may even be able to resell some of the chips you get in scrap to e-scrap refurbishers or on a platform like eBay. Many CPU chips are still in excellent condition when being removed from computers; therefore, they may not have to be scrapped but can be used again.

Suggested Reading: How To: Destroy, Recycle, & Scrap Hard Drives