Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question
Closed

Gold on old CPU's worth anything?

Last response: in CPUs
Share
March 17, 2008 2:20:17 AM

Hey peeps, i'm wondering about donating old P II's and PIII's to a computer shop. About 5 CPU's. These of course are worth nothing performance-wise, but is the gold used on them worth anything? Could i get a few buck out of them somehow.

More about : gold cpu worth

March 17, 2008 2:29:16 AM

It would probably cost you more to extract them than you'd get from selling them.
March 17, 2008 2:42:30 AM

Like jb said. There's a smelter's fee that runs about $250. Your chips only have a few $ worth of gold on them.
Related resources
March 17, 2008 2:46:38 AM

Aight, cool, to the old PC shop it is then!
March 17, 2008 3:00:22 AM

The worst thing about recycling is that most computer parts that have gold get sent to China, where impoverished families extract the gold in a low tech smelting operation. One town in China found that most of the children had been exposed to lead from burning motherboards etc.

Quote:

The smell of scorched metal and burned plastic hangs over the town.

The source is immediately obvious. Inside and outside the shack-like workshops that line the streets, men and women sit burning circuit boards over coal fires. Wang Qing, a 39-year-old mother of two, sits for 10 or 12 hours a day, 30 days a month, over the flame, melting the solder that sticks the electronic components to the circuit boards.

With a knife, she scrapes them into baskets on one side and dumps the singed boards on the other. A thick cloud of toxic smoke envelopes her face.

"I get head-aches all the time, and suffer a lot of colds," she said. She said she didn't like to wear face-masks and her boss did not insist.

Her wages drew her a thousand miles from her home in central China. She earns about £100 a month, a decent salary in China. In other workshops, many family-run, children help out during their lunch breaks and holidays.

In the streets, piles of scrap mount up, while effluent fills the black streams that criss-cross the town and in which residents still rely for daily tasks such as washing. Much of this comes from the acid baths in which components are washed either to remove surplus metal, or to break them down further.

The price of metals found in the components, including gold and copper, has risen hugely in recent years, meaning good profits can be had from extracting them.

But according to local academics, the families, while making money, are also paying a frightening price. A study at nearby Shantou University found that of 165 children aged between one and six in Guiyu, 135 - 82 per cent - had clinical lead poisoning, which can cause brain damage.


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/main.jhtml?xml=/earth/...

So, think again about sending your old tech to a recycling center. I'd rather see it in a landfill at home than to contribute to the poisoning of children in China or India.

Eventually, when the landfills have no more room, then both companies and governments here will have to find solutions that don't involve shipping waste overseas. Not every country has rules against exporting the waste to China.

As much as I hate higher prices, recycling needs to be done with safe technology at home, even if a surcharge has to be added to every cell phone, motherboard or graphics card we buy to cover the cost. That will force Chinese recycling companies to stop using people with home smelting operations, but to invest in modern operations instead. Right now, they care more about profits than they do the health of their peasants.

So much for a "People's Republic" improving through capitalism! Capitalism works best in societies that value human life, freedom and that enforce regulations to create a win win situation for everyone involved in both production and consumption.

March 17, 2008 3:21:57 AM

I hope Wang develops brain cancer and dies in a horrible fashion.
a c 126 à CPUs
March 17, 2008 4:02:10 AM

SUPERCHARGE said:
Hey peeps, i'm wondering about donating old P II's and PIII's to a computer shop. About 5 CPU's. These of course are worth nothing performance-wise, but is the gold used on them worth anything? Could i get a few buck out of them somehow.


I say keep them and start a collection. I am. Have a Pentium, Pentium Pro w/MMX. May be worth something some day. Kinda like coins. I have a silver quarter worth well more than $6K.

yipsl said:
The worst thing about recycling is that most computer parts that have gold get sent to China, where impoverished families extract the gold in a low tech smelting operation. One town in China found that most of the children had been exposed to lead from burning motherboards etc.

Quote:

The smell of scorched metal and burned plastic hangs over the town.

The source is immediately obvious. Inside and outside the shack-like workshops that line the streets, men and women sit burning circuit boards over coal fires. Wang Qing, a 39-year-old mother of two, sits for 10 or 12 hours a day, 30 days a month, over the flame, melting the solder that sticks the electronic components to the circuit boards.

With a knife, she scrapes them into baskets on one side and dumps the singed boards on the other. A thick cloud of toxic smoke envelopes her face.

"I get head-aches all the time, and suffer a lot of colds," she said. She said she didn't like to wear face-masks and her boss did not insist.

Her wages drew her a thousand miles from her home in central China. She earns about £100 a month, a decent salary in China. In other workshops, many family-run, children help out during their lunch breaks and holidays.

In the streets, piles of scrap mount up, while effluent fills the black streams that criss-cross the town and in which residents still rely for daily tasks such as washing. Much of this comes from the acid baths in which components are washed either to remove surplus metal, or to break them down further.

The price of metals found in the components, including gold and copper, has risen hugely in recent years, meaning good profits can be had from extracting them.

But according to local academics, the families, while making money, are also paying a frightening price. A study at nearby Shantou University found that of 165 children aged between one and six in Guiyu, 135 - 82 per cent - had clinical lead poisoning, which can cause brain damage.


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/main.jhtml?xml=/earth/...

So, think again about sending your old tech to a recycling center. I'd rather see it in a landfill at home than to contribute to the poisoning of children in China or India.

Eventually, when the landfills have no more room, then both companies and governments here will have to find solutions that don't involve shipping waste overseas. Not every country has rules against exporting the waste to China.

As much as I hate higher prices, recycling needs to be done with safe technology at home, even if a surcharge has to be added to every cell phone, motherboard or graphics card we buy to cover the cost. That will force Chinese recycling companies to stop using people with home smelting operations, but to invest in modern operations instead. Right now, they care more about profits than they do the health of their peasants.

So much for a "People's Republic" improving through capitalism! Capitalism works best in societies that value human life, freedom and that enforce regulations to create a win win situation for everyone involved in both production and consumption.


Well considering that China is now in a "industrial" age it is no suprise whats happeneing. But don't think its just the US. Even if we stopped they would probably get a lot from Europe.

China will probably never change to a Capitalist society. And their children will probably always get stuck working at a young age.

And this isn't even half as bad as the air quality issues in the major Chinese cities. Their industrial age has made outs look like a small speck of dust. They pollute their own air and don't care. That will change though once they hit a more modernized age but might take a while before that happens.
March 17, 2008 5:27:34 AM

Same thing goes on in the capitalist asian countries, like India, or the philipines. Kinda makes you think that kids sewing running shoes aint that bad right?
Wrong. Everybody deserves better than that.
March 17, 2008 6:05:16 AM

That is sad.
March 17, 2008 6:23:34 AM

put the computers in a wood chipper, lay the pieces out on a plywood and poor a ton of epoxy over it, create a cool looking workbench
March 17, 2008 6:45:55 AM

that sh*t is bad man bad!
from now on all my computer stuf gos in the bin.
March 17, 2008 6:58:18 AM

on 5 no

on lots less
you need chemicals to reclaim and EPA licence
March 17, 2008 7:01:00 AM

I would rather see it sent to one of those computer places that reuse the old stuff in various ways. We have one in St. Louis but not sure if they are elswhere. If they are good enough for production then the computer parts are assembled and donated to schools and non-profit organizations and stuff.

But... I don't know how they "recycle" the stuff that isn't good enough to put back in production.
March 17, 2008 10:16:14 AM

Ouch, to be honest, I kind of knew a bit about this recycling thing. Didn't think it was that bad. But the shop i'm bringing it to belongs to a not so wealthy couple who fix computers and sell old computer parts. Old computer parts still have a purpose.

@jimmysmitty... To be quite honest, I held onto some old parts for a while but am now deciding against it. I collect enought old stuff. Even old computer parts from the 80's aren't gaining value and the processors I have are the old PII's and PIII's that welded to a chip and a fan with heatsink. They are cumbersome.

I collect even better. When I was young i always treasured the games I had. So I have about 20 nintendo games with all their original packaging. I saw people were junking their nintendo's, so I'd keep them. Most of them aren't sealed like The original megaman game and ninja turtles, california games, god remembers what else. But I do have a sealed original Final fantasy game. Look up how much that's worth

One thing i picked up on was when Final Fantasy VII was still disapperaing from the shelves fast after 7 years of release, I bought 3 games for 15 bucks at walmart, kept them sealed in a box. Impossible to find them anywhere now since they stopped making them. Since last year, depending on the time, I saw bids go over 500$ for a sealed FFVII game. The prices went down a bit, went back up, amd once again are down. People are only bidding a little over 200$ now. I'll see how far it goes up.

Also have an original Need for Speed game sealed. Doesn't seem to be worth much now, but let's see what happens if the title Need for speed still exists 20 yrs down the road.

Anyway, getting way off subject right now, So that's why I don't bother with old PC's.
March 17, 2008 11:02:27 AM

Gold in CPUs is just like silver on mirrors.
If there was that much metal in those things, theyd sell the metal not make a CPU/mirror using it.
March 17, 2008 12:02:57 PM

Recycling is the way forward for sure, dont just throw it away... Perhaps check the recycling process with the Recycling vendor before you hand over the parts. Im sure some use better practice than the Chinese example above.
March 17, 2008 12:47:35 PM

Quote:
I have a silver quarter worth well more than $6K


What is it? Could you show a picture of it?
March 17, 2008 1:12:05 PM

I have 2 copies of nascar racing 2003 season that are going for around $100 used on ebay. I actually want about 8 more copies to setup a small racing sim booth but it will remain a dream.
March 17, 2008 1:14:59 PM

trying to cash gold in off of CPU's?man that is pretty sad
March 17, 2008 1:30:53 PM

captaincharisma said:
trying to cash gold in off of CPU's?man that is pretty sad


What's so sad about that?
March 17, 2008 2:24:47 PM

captaincharisma said:
trying to cash gold in off of CPU's?man that is pretty sad


Um, for all i knew, maybe i could of cashed these in somewhere for a few bucks. Why not ask?

Oh and BTW, those old computer components that are selling at retarded prices on ebay are never purchased. No one will buy that junk. Perhaps one of the first PC's may be worth something... but by the time these old parts are worth keeping and junking up my apt, i'll be dead. 299$? look at his selling history, he never sold an old part like that yet.
March 17, 2008 2:34:13 PM
a b à CPUs
March 17, 2008 2:44:48 PM

Seeing those "vintage" expansion cards reminds me of when I tried to tidy out our office just before Christmas and found a load of ISA cards...
March 17, 2008 3:09:43 PM

What ever you do don't throw away your computer in the trash. In a land fill it will break down and release heavy metals and poison the ground water.

Here is some info on gold in computer components I found on the internet.


"In general, a ton of circuit boards yields approximately 10 ounces of gold. The average PC contains about 1 gram of gold. Other metals recovered from computers are platinum, silver, copper, steel, and aluminum"

You would be surprised at the number of non-profit organizations that recycle old comptuers and then donate them to schools or churches etc. for people to use. I donate my old stuff to a non-profit in my area.

March 17, 2008 3:35:33 PM

Damn that stuff releases poison? ****... leaving that stuff on the floor last week, my dog chewed half a motherboard. Smart dog, dumb bitch.
March 17, 2008 3:55:21 PM

SUPERCHARGE said:
Damn that stuff releases poison? ****... leaving that stuff on the floor last week, my dog chewed half a motherboard. Smart dog, dumb bitch.



"Discarded computers, televisions, printers, fax machines and copiers are hazardous wastes. When dumped into landfills or improperly recycled, they pose a hazard to the environment and human health. Cathode ray tubes (CRTs) in computer monitors, television sets, and other video display devices contain significant concentrations of lead, phosphorous and other heavy metals. In some states, such as California, Massachusetts, Minnesota and Maine, the disposal of CRTs into landfills is prohibited and strictly regulated. In states like Oregon without specific landfill bans for CRTs, any non-residential CRT containing hazardous waste is banned from landfilling under national hazardous waste laws."

"Each computer or television display contains an average of 4 to 8 pounds of lead. The 315 million computers that became obsolete between 1997 and 2004 contained a total of more than 1.2 billion pounds of lead. Monitor glass contains about 20% lead by weight. When these components are illegally disposed and crushed in landfills, lead is released into the environment, posing a hazardous legacy for current and future generations. Consumer electronics constitute approximately 40% of lead found in landfills. About 70% of the heavy metals (including mercury and cadmium) found in landfills comes from electronic equipment discards. These heavy metals and other hazardous substances found in electronics can contaminate groundwater and pose other environmental and public health risks"
March 17, 2008 4:34:56 PM

I've got 25 CRT monitors, well over 100 systems that have been picked over the last 5 years, and its bad for the environment to throw them in a landfill? I'll continue to toss things in the landfill until the day comes when theres a huge bin at the transfer station that i can toss everything into for free. Until then, i wont be paying to dispose of my garbage any more than the next guy - $40 a truck load, not $10 per monitor.
a c 126 à CPUs
March 17, 2008 4:47:44 PM

caamsa said:
"Discarded computers, televisions, printers, fax machines and copiers are hazardous wastes. When dumped into landfills or improperly recycled, they pose a hazard to the environment and human health. Cathode ray tubes (CRTs) in computer monitors, television sets, and other video display devices contain significant concentrations of lead, phosphorous and other heavy metals. In some states, such as California, Massachusetts, Minnesota and Maine, the disposal of CRTs into landfills is prohibited and strictly regulated. In states like Oregon without specific landfill bans for CRTs, any non-residential CRT containing hazardous waste is banned from landfilling under national hazardous waste laws."

"Each computer or television display contains an average of 4 to 8 pounds of lead. The 315 million computers that became obsolete between 1997 and 2004 contained a total of more than 1.2 billion pounds of lead. Monitor glass contains about 20% lead by weight. When these components are illegally disposed and crushed in landfills, lead is released into the environment, posing a hazardous legacy for current and future generations. Consumer electronics constitute approximately 40% of lead found in landfills. About 70% of the heavy metals (including mercury and cadmium) found in landfills comes from electronic equipment discards. These heavy metals and other hazardous substances found in electronics can contaminate groundwater and pose other environmental and public health risks"


So either way its bad for either us or the kids. No wounder why the water here has had a metal taste to it recently....
March 17, 2008 5:11:04 PM

rockbyter said:
I've got 25 CRT monitors, well over 100 systems that have been picked over the last 5 years, and its bad for the environment to throw them in a landfill? I'll continue to toss things in the landfill until the day comes when theres a huge bin at the transfer station that i can toss everything into for free. Until then, i wont be paying to dispose of my garbage any more than the next guy - $40 a truck load, not $10 per monitor.


What state do you live in? Most states have a recyling program and they take the stuff for free. The land fill where I live takes the stuff for free and recycles it.
March 17, 2008 5:20:22 PM

AFAIK, the real old white ceramic 8088 chips had solid gold pins and were worth salvaging. But all the gold plated ones are not. I looked into this back when I had boxes of old chips laying around (none of the white ceramics though) and my conclusion anyway at the time was no way was it worth the time/hassle.
March 17, 2008 5:41:38 PM

Washington State.
http://www.kitsapgov.com/sw/ovts.htm

$10 per monitor, no accepting of circuit boards/computers.

Staples had free drop off when the first launched their program, but now its $10 for a large item, free for keyboards, mice and small peripherals. The state has a plan to incorporate a recycling system by 2009, we'll see.
March 17, 2008 5:52:56 PM

Would the older 286 , 386 , 486 pent motheboards have more gold on them than todays newer motherboards? ie 2-3 yr olders ones.
a b à CPUs
March 17, 2008 6:03:47 PM

pauldh -
Any idea why "solid gold" pins as gold is a 3rd rate conductor and is a realtively soft slippery" metal.
March 17, 2008 6:10:41 PM

Ah ok .. answered my question .. Ta Chief
March 17, 2008 6:36:39 PM

Gold is going for over $1K USD per Troy ounce...old vacume tubes also had gold plated connection pins.
March 17, 2008 7:30:24 PM

rockbyter said:
Washington State.
http://www.kitsapgov.com/sw/ovts.htm

$10 per monitor, no accepting of circuit boards/computers.

Staples had free drop off when the first launched their program, but now its $10 for a large item, free for keyboards, mice and small peripherals. The state has a plan to incorporate a recycling system by 2009, we'll see.


Here is a link that is supposed to help you locate a place in your state where you can recycle your old computer stuff. Hopefully this is helpful info I am giving you.


http://www.ecy.wa.gov/PROGRAMS/SWFA/eproductrecycle/
a c 126 à CPUs
March 17, 2008 7:30:33 PM

RetiredChief said:
pauldh -
Any idea why "solid gold" pins as gold is a 3rd rate conductor and is a realtively soft slippery" metal.


I am guessing b/c solid gold is a very soft metal and doesn't conduct as well. Plus corosion is higher on pure gold. Kinda like why jewelry is never pure gold but gold mixed with another metal to help it last longe. Pure gold jewelry would wear out very fast.
March 17, 2008 7:33:00 PM

"Well baby, I may be a pinhead, but i'm gold!"
March 17, 2008 7:55:00 PM

RetiredChief said:
pauldh -
Any idea why "solid gold" pins as gold is a 3rd rate conductor and is a realtively soft slippery" metal.

By solid, I did not mean pure gold. Not sure on the purity, I'd guess 10K or 14K for all know which would stiffen it up. I just meant they were not simply gold plated like all/most other CPU pins have been since then. Can't seem to find where I read that, it was a long long time ago.
a b à CPUs
March 17, 2008 8:08:31 PM

pauldh - yea 10k -> 14 K for strenght

JimmyS - Reference corrosion - That is the reason gold is used, because it has one of the slowest rates of oxidation. Silver is a far better conductor, but oxidizes at a faster rate than copper/gold.
March 17, 2008 8:50:27 PM

my brother worked for a computer recycling place and people paid to get there old computer, monitors recycled. the recycling place takes the parts and turns around and sells them on ebay

March 18, 2008 1:08:19 AM

all the metals are reclaimable

the gold is expensive to reclaim unless done in bulk the cost is higher then the amount reclaimed

aluminum steel - non toxic or low toxic

steel can have chrome and other traces

mercury silver cadmium - can be toxic
silver can ionize and kill fish and microbes

gold is inert accept for a few acids and with cyanide

plastic and be ground and sorted and made into all kinds of things
March 18, 2008 5:25:02 AM

caamsa said:
What ever you do don't throw away your computer in the trash. In a land fill it will break down and release heavy metals and poison the ground water.



Which is better? Tossing this stuff in a land fill where it will eventuall break down and might poison the ground water (which is treated anyways before it's used by Americans and Europeans), or sending it to China where it's burned in a low tech smelting operation that will poison children today. These people wash their dishes and clothes in poisoned water. Even if they don't drink from the local stream, their animals do.

Is it ethical to poison people "over there" right now than to possibly cause an ecological disaster here sometime in the future? If the problem's here, it will be taken care of eventually and few get hurt. If it's there, we're killing those children while telling ourselves we're recycling.

Don't recycle unless it's processed at every step of the way in the U.S. or Europe.
March 18, 2008 1:33:10 PM

yipsl said:
Which is better? Tossing this stuff in a land fill where it will eventuall break down and might poison the ground water (which is treated anyways before it's used by Americans and Europeans), or sending it to China where it's burned in a low tech smelting operation that will poison children today. These people wash their dishes and clothes in poisoned water. Even if they don't drink from the local stream, their animals do.

Is it ethical to poison people "over there" right now than to possibly cause an ecological disaster here sometime in the future? If the problem's here, it will be taken care of eventually and few get hurt. If it's there, we're killing those children while telling ourselves we're recycling.

Don't recycle unless it's processed at every step of the way in the U.S. or Europe.



I would say that it is irresponsible not to recycle. You need to “Think globally, act locally” We can't control how things are done in other countries but we can control what we do here or in our own homes. Should I just throw my trash into the streets because my neighbor does? I don’t think so. Also once your ground water is polluted you can’t just filter out all the pollution. Where I live I have a well. So if my neighbor pours oil, gas or some other toxic solution on the ground it could get into my well and make it unusable for years.

Here is an article on China and their ewaste problems.

http://www.cnn.com/2007/TECH/11/20/china.toxic.electron...



March 18, 2008 2:26:30 PM

Gold is used because it resists tarnising like silver and copper do i think.
!