Is your CPU made of Gold?

And here I thought high school chemistry was useless. Don’t try this at home though…well unless you want to see how fast chlorine gas kills everything around you.


The guys over at Tom’s Hardware Recovers Gold And Silver From their AMD CPUs.


A while back, they did a little do-it-yourself salvaging of gold from motherboards. Apparently, that’s not the only part of a computer where the rustless, unalterable metal is used. It’s also in CPUs. Specifically, the element is used on the pins and on the mounting pads of the processor dies. Also, the small wires that connect the pads and the pins are made of gold.


In their first step, they drop the processors into a bath of concentrated nitric acid and during this stage, the strong acid reacts with certain metals, particularly copper and silver. Nitric acid has no effect on gold. Then using there chemistry skills they filter the gold, recover, dry it, melt it in a crucible using a oxy-butane torch which will heat it around 1064°C.

And wallah! The final result is a pretty gold BB! A homemade process can’t extract perfectly pure gold, which is one reason why industrial operations use other, more dangerous processes.


It’s kind of sad to see these processors get destroyed, I mean some of those are classics that would be cool to have as a keepsake.


Check out the gallery below to see the process of all the pictures.


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105 Responses to “Is your CPU made of Gold?”

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