Selling old PC's vs. stripping precious metal

By jimmy-jam ·
I have recently come into a bunch of old Dell Precision workstations from and upgrade/install. It is a mix of 530's 650's and a 670. I was gonna strip them down of the useful parts and Ebay them (although it looks like some of the parts ain't gonna be worth much if anything). Then I got to thinking about something someone told me once about there being precious metal in computers.

Anyone have any experience with that? Is there enough precious metal in 8 computers to make it worth my time and effort? Does anyone have any good resources on the process? Everything I have Googled to this point has been vague at best.

Any help/advice is appreciated


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Any gold

by santeewelding In reply to Selling old PC's vs. stri ...

According to what I understand, is electroplated and in minute amounts. Reverse deposition may cost more in electrical current than the worth of what you reclaim in gold or any other precious metals (unless you invest thousands in a solar set-up).

Copper, getting expensive, but not precious, is also present in amounts so small that it only pays to have a waif sitting cross-legged on a Mumbai beach to pick it out.

Good luck.

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Kinda the responses I am expecting to get

by jimmy-jam In reply to Any gold

Figure it can't hurt to throw the question out there cause you never know what some mad scientist may come back with.

I wonder if the kids could be trained...

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Not enough to get much out

by JamesRL In reply to Selling old PC's vs. stri ...

I used to work for a big firm that made telecom equipemtn and they set up a place in the 90s to recycle circuit boards. They basically grind them up finer and finer till they can separate them out.

Most places like this make money, but only because it costs some firms to throw stuff away, and they will take away computers for free.

I have an old Precision workstation, one is my current home machine, one my old one. They both have 2 Xeon processors, and I know a matched pair of XEONs can make money on eBay.


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You guys are gonna contribute to me being in trouble

by jimmy-jam In reply to Not enough to get much ou ...

I assured SWMBO that I would be able to make a few bucks off these PC's if I pack ratted them instead of just letting the customer throw them away ;-)

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Welcome to The Reckoning

by santeewelding In reply to You guys are gonna contri ...

Even now, I go through stuff saved for later, realizing, "later" has not only arrived, but ending.

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Worth more as parts - potentially

by oldbaritone In reply to Selling old PC's vs. stri ...

Don't lose sleep - the value of the parts as recovered metals will be minimal. It has to be. There can't be $800 worth of gold in a machine that retails for $500, even allowing for inflation.

And many of the firms doing the recovery generate revenue many ways - first by charging to dispose of the computer! Then it is often sent to a third-world location where environmental standards are lax before it is dismantled. The amount of precious metal recovered is probably less than the original disposal charge.

OTOH, if you can dismantle the machines for parts, and find a market for the valuable components, you'll probably make a lot more than you would by trying to recover the precious metal. And it will be a lot less work. Recovered silicon is just sand, but a hard-to-find IC or board may be worth something significant.

I've seen many blogs here with people trying to keep old dinosaur machines running because they work fine, and upgrading their application to current technology is prohibitively expensive. Folks like that are looking for parts to keep the old clunker running. It's amazing what an old part can be worth, when the alternative is a megabucks system upgrade.

Then dispose of the stripped-out hulks properly.


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I forgot about the silicon...

by jimmy-jam In reply to Worth more as parts - pot ...

I wonder what Pam Anderson is up to these days...


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Silicone, not Silicon...

by oldbaritone In reply to I forgot about the silico ...

but a happy thought for a Friday!

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Well if this is any help

by OH Smeg In reply to Selling old PC's vs. stri ...

There is supposed to be 1.5 Grams of Gold per tom of used mobile phones. Doesn't sound like much but at that level it is economical to dig and separate Gold out of the ground and consider it to be a rich gold seam.

However with 8 machines I would just suggest parting them out if you must live with your SWMBO. Personally if they had any really good CPU's and setup I would be looking at using them for my own play-toys so I could test things. But I have my SWMBO under control :^0


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That's what she let's you think Col

by jimmy-jam In reply to Well if this is any help

I could build a custom rack, rack them in the basement, load them with Linux in a load balance cluster configuration and use it as a domain controler for the 3 other PC's I have... hmmm... overkill?

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