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Is it true that processors usually have golden pins? Do Pentium 4s have them?

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Need some extra cash? –  Kyle Mar 1 '11 at 19:47

3 Answers 3

Gold is everywhere in the world of electronics, though never pure gold (it's too soft). If you still have a phone with a cord, or wired ethernet, unplug it and look at the connector...You think it's copper, and there is copper there, but the shiny you see is gold.

The reason for this is simple: the best conducting metals (silver and copper) are very reactive, and very likely to oxidize in environments with the slightest amount of humidity. Obviously this would be bad for any sort of connector, so we turn to the third most conductive metal: gold. Gold coated electronics are the standard.

It may sound like a waste, but I assure you, there are more precious metals in your computer than gold. They use platinum, palladium, ruthenium and iridium as well, and largely for the same purpose (corrosion free contacts).

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It depends on the processor, if they have small pins or not. P2 processors were designed more like a PCI card. Other processors have no pins, but small gold contacts (like the p4). And even if they are golden they are not completely out of gold, but they only contain a layer of gold which is a few atoms thin.

It's the same with the contacts on PCI cards, they have a thin layer of gold on the contacts.

This links for example are interesting: http://hubpages.com/hub/Gold-Mine-Above-the-Ground http://www.recyclingsecrets.com/recover-precious-metals-computer.htm Some goldmines contain only a few gram of gold in hundreds of tons of stone. And electric waste contains a lot of other metals, which could be recycled, too. Therefore e-waste recycling is becoming an growing industry. But for a private person it is hardly profitable.s

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"But for a private person it is hardly profitable", depends on how much you accumulate before selling, yes it is profitable for sure, especially at current gold prices. –  Moab Mar 1 '11 at 20:35

Yes. It probably isn't pure gold though.

I've heard that IBM has been doing a lot of research in recent years with using copper instead of gold, so things could be changing in the future with regard to the use of gold in electronics.

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