How much gold is in the processor and other computer components: methods of gold mining and its profitability

Old computers and office equipment are worth mere pennies on the second-hand market because they are not fit for purpose. European governments countries are developing a bill that would require device manufacturers to deal with the subsequent disposal of devices, since such equipment contains a lot of chemical elements that have a negative impact on the environment. However, there are also precious metalsincluding gold. It is quite realistic to mine it. How much gold in the computer, and how do I get it out of there?

Where do precious metals come from in office equipment. Reasons for using gold in microchips. Gold-bearing computer equipment of the 1990s

Precious metals are not susceptible to corrosion and do not oxidize in contact with other metals. But this is not the only reason they are used. This metal has an extremely low electrical resistance, so it does not have any effect on the signal transmitted through the contacts of the microprocessor (the formation of "noise" is excluded). In addition, this metal has a high coefficient of heat dissipation, which prevents the overheating of components of office equipment. That is why gold is used precisely on contacts (gilding).

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Computer parts
Most of the gold is stored in the CPU, video card

Gold computer parts

This metal is found in the following computer components:

  • motherboard;
  • processor;
  • HDD (hard disk drives);
  • pins of microchips (north bridge, south bridge, multicontrollers).

Gold in the motherboard is contained on the PCI pins, RAM slots, as well as the needle pins (to which the front USB, audio outputs are connected). It is also found on the pins inside the power supply.

How much gold is in the processor, are there differences in models? A typical "home" system unit with a Pentium Celeron series processor on the 775 socket (and all others released after 2010) contains up to 20 - 30 mg of gold in total. Obsolete PCs contain more. The reason is banal - sputtering technology precious metal Ten years ago was different, its consumption for gilding contacts by manufacturers was more. Many computers produced before the 2000s contained up to 1.5 grams of the precious metal on the components total! It really can be obtained by household means.

Servers contain even more precious metal - up to 50-60 mg. But it is difficult (and unprofitable) to buy such equipment on the secondary market.

Gold and other precious metals in computers
Gold in detail computers

Is there a lot of gold in a laptop

In laptops Au is also present. Modern models, where BGA soldering is used for all chips, contain a minuscule amount of it. So small that it is not even profitable to mine it (reagents costs are higher). This also applies to smartphones and tablets. The scheme of their internal structure is similar. They can be disassembled, extracting all the parts from gold-plated contacts.

Older models of laptops, where the processor was installed on the PGA-socket, there is more precious metal (comparable with the amount that corresponds to the "home" PC).

Gold content in processors: table

How much gold is in a processor? Miners know that the older the model, the higher the content precious metals.

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ModelAu content (in grams)
AMD K7 Athlon0,007
IntelCeleronCovington0,015
IntelPentium II, Pentium III0,015
IntelCeleronMendocino0,025
IntelPentium MMX (in plastic case)0,05
AMD 80286 (in ceramic case)0,06
Intel 80870,07
TexasInstruments 4860,08
Intel 486 SX0,08
AMD K6, K6-2, K6-III0,09
Pentium MMX (in ceramic package)0,1
Intel i9600,1
AMD 386 DX0,1
AMD 4860,105
WinChip C60,12
Intel 386 DX0,13
Intel 486 DX40,139
Cyrix 5860,155
AMD K50,25
Pentium Pro0,31
Pentium P50,35
PentiumPro (in plastic case)0,4
Gold content in processors
The processor is the main part of the computer software

Article in the legislation on the illegal trafficking of precious metals and the instruction on the procedure for disposal of computers. Requirements for disposal of computer equipment and reporting to the state for legal entities

Retrieved from and subsequent sale of precious metals from old computer equipment is a criminal offense. It is regulated by the provisions of Article 191 of the Criminal Code of the RF.

For this reason, it is forbidden for legal entities to dispose of computer equipment. Only specialized accredited companies can do this (approved by Government Decree No. 340).

Techniques for extracting gold from a computer

There are several techniques for extracting the precious metal from computer equipment and office equipment components. All techniques involve the use of chemical reagents.

Techniques for extracting gold from a computer
Extracting gold from the processor

Etching. Josehf Murchison's Guide to Removing Gold from Office Equipment

Josehf Murchison is an engineer and chemist who was one of the first to come up with the "domestic" option of etching Au from machinery. He shared this instruction on the forum. It is performed as follows:

  1. The necessary materials for gold extraction. We will need a solution of hydrochloric acid, methyl alcohol, sodium salt of boric acid. From the equipment - a torch, which can be used to melt the metal and get a single ingot.
  2. Remove the boards from the gold-containing electronics. Anything with a gold color can be taken. The parts have to be crushed (printed circuit boards can easily be broken apart by hand).
  3. Place in a solution of hydrochloric acid for one week. It is recommended to stir the contents every day. The gold there will gradually flake off. This can be noticed by the formation of dark "flakes". 
  4. We pass the peeled off pieces through an ordinary coffee filter. It is not recommended to use gauze. You can replace it with a fiber filter for a vacuum cleaner (do not use HEPA or paper filters).
  5. We treat with methyl alcohol. Methanol is toxic, so be sure to protect your respiratory system while working.
  6. Add the sodium salt of boric acid to reduce the melting point of the gold. You can just sprinkle it on the resulting Sludge. Otherwise, you have to heat the metal to the melting point up to 1064 degrees.
  7. We melt it on the burner in the gold bar and cool it down.
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Instructions for recovering gold from office equipment by Josehf Murchison
Josehf Murchison - chemist and engineer released a special manual on the method of melting gold from old electronics

Afinage. The method of obtaining gold using royal vodka

Mining Au this method involves using a mixture of hydrochloric acid and nitric acid. The proportion for mixing: 3 to 1, the output is that "royal vodka". It is recommended to use aluminum or enamelware for work.

The refining process will go faster if the solution is heated to about 60 degrees. And be sure to do all this outdoors, as the mixture of these acids has a very pungent, unpleasant odor.

After the precious metal has dissolved, iron sulfate or hydrazine is added. Then the solution is left for several days, stirring occasionally. Grains of the precious metal will fall to the bottom. It remains to filter them, rinse with water and fuse.

Safety rules for working with acids

All work with acids must be done outdoors (if indoors, be sure to have a forced air recuperation system). It is also necessary to use personal protective equipment (respirator, mask, gloves).

Reagents cannot be reused! The hydrochloric acid and nitric acid must be mixed immediately before refining.

Extracting gold from a computer
There are a lot of precious metals hidden in computers

Mass and consistency as the key to profitability in mining gold from computers. What is the profitability of the computer rush?

Modern computers contain very little Au. Therefore, if there is only one system unit, there is no point in extracting precious metal from it. Income can be obtained when there are at least 10 PCs for disassembly. But do not forget that gold can be extracted even from keyboards, "mice", printers, old TVs, tape recorders and so on. Each such device contains several microchips with gold-plated contacts.

If you believe the reviews of experts, one computer manufactured in 2000-2005 contains about 1,500 to 2,000 rubles worth of precious metal. Modern ones will allow you to earn only 100 to 150 rubles. Therefore, it is necessary to focus on obsolete equipment.

Video: gold in the computer and its extraction for income

Question and answer section

How much gold does an Intel processor contain?

Opinion of an expert
Zavorotny Alexey
Engineer of the service center "iTerra
A modern Intel processor contains only 3 to 4 mg of gold.

How much gold does a motherboard contain?

Opinion of an expert
Zavorotny Alexey
Engineer of the service center "iTerra
A modern motherboard on gold-plated contacts can have about 4 - 5 mg of gold.

How much gold does the notebook contain?

Opinion of an expert
Zavorotny Alexey
Engineer of the service center "iTerra
The content of the precious metal is about 0.3 - 0.5 mg. There is a legend that expensive "gaming" laptops contain much more. But this is a myth.
How much gold a laptop contains
Parts of an old laptop

Where is the gold in the computer mouse?

Opinion of an expert
Zavorotny Alexey
Engineer of the service center "iTerra

It is contained on the pins of the built-in microchip that processes incoming commands, which is located inside the case. It is also found gilding on the USB connector.

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So, mine for precious metals from computer equipment is profitable, but only if you can get a lot of scrap (processors, chips, contact pads). This is why system administrators, as well as service center engineers who work directly with this equipment, get involved in this kind of business.

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