Do you know your processor has gold inside?

Every processor requires gold for its functioning, including not just the main component, but also the RAM card and the connection pins. The real query is: how much gold do they contain? Is it financially viable to extract the gold from an old processor?

In this discussion, we will delve into these inquiries and determine the potential weight and monetary value of the gold present in our processor or any outdated one we may possess at home.


How much does it have?

The utilization of gold in computer processors is attributed to its remarkable characteristics. This precious metal possesses excellent electrical conductivity and resistance to corrosion, making it an optimal choice for contacts and connections not only in chips but also in SIM cards and various other PC components.

Now, let’s address the primary question: How much gold does a processor typically contain? On average, it is estimated that a processor would yield approximately 0.2 grams of melted gold, with some older models potentially containing up to 0.5 grams. As the industry gradually shifts towards cost-effective alternatives that are equally efficient, the use of gold in processors has declined. Consequently, older processors tend to have a higher gold content.

Although the quantity of gold in a processor may seem relatively low, considering the current market price of gold at €58 per gram, we could expect to obtain approximately €12 to €29 from an old processor.

Incorporating the other computer components such as RAM, graphics card, and motherboard into the equation, one could potentially yield a decent sum from an old PC. However, the process is not as straightforward as it may seem.

The challenge lies in the complexity and hazards involved. While melting the gold itself poses no major issue, the fact that it is embedded in minuscule quantities within other components presents a dilemma. To extract the gold, one would need to melt the entire assembly, which could release highly polluting substances since many of these components contain hazardous materials like mercury, lead, and other heavy metals. Moreover, undertaking such a task necessitates specific knowledge, expertise, and access to specialized equipment such as a gold smelter, which is unlikely to be readily available in most households.

Furthermore, it is worth considering that your old processor may hold greater value in the future as a collector’s item rather than being destroyed for the sake of a few euros. Disassembling it completely would require significant time and effort, as it would not be practical to directly melt the entire tower. This process, although it may appear swift, is actually time-consuming.

Therefore, while it is technically possible to extract gold from an old processor, it is not a cost-effective or practical endeavor for the majority of individuals. Unless you possess the necessary knowledge, skills, and equipment, as well as the willingness to assume associated risks and costs, attempting to smelt gold from electronics is not recommended. I am confident that you can come up with a more suitable alternative for your old processor.