Don’t Lose $ on Your CPUs – How to Ensure Your Processors Maintain Value

By Courtney Hamilton, Ex-IT Technologies, Inc.

When weighing your options for IT asset liquidation, it is important to keep in mind that some of the smallest and oldest IT components can still be of value. In addition to memory, processors are one of the computer components that boost your operating system to its peak performance, giving your computer maximum value. With proper recovery, it is possible to avoid losing money on your CPUs when upgrading or liquidating.

Condition is Key

When dismantling computers to access the CPU, it is important to remember that the physical condition of the processor itself affects the performance of the CPU. After processors are sorted by model number, the heat spreader is the very first thing that is observed when evaluating desktop or server processors. If copper is exposed, this can result in your system overheating. A scratched or dented top revealing copper on a CPU reduces its value. Always check for broken capacitors on desktop and server computers. For high-valued processors that are damaged during removal from the computer, an eco-friendly repair system can increase vendor payout.

Mobile Processors Carry Value too

If determining the value of a mobile processor, the mirrored plate on the top should not have any fractures, cracks, missing pieces, or smudges that cannot be removed with cleaning. After removing the CPU from the computer, it may have a gray paste left on it. This is a thermal material that helps keep the processor cool and transfers the heat. This paste can be left on the processor during transportation to help protect the mobile CPU plates. Also, the green fiber board should not be damaged in any way. There should be no broken or bent pins on mobile processors; otherwise it can impact the value. Although pins can be straightened, it is important to take all precautions to prevent this from happening.

Information on the Intel Processor

All processors should have no other trace on them besides the original Intel stamped information. This information includes the model number, step code, and specifications. The evaluation of the processor is based on the model number. The step code and specifications are extra information that can be used to help determine the model number if the model number is unavailable. Some mobile processors and older desktop CPUs, such as Pentium Ds, are notorious for not having their model numbers displayed for quick identification. Watch out for processors that are double stamped or have any kind of permanent trace left on them because any type of cosmetic defect can reduce the value.

Stock and Inventory

While it may take a little more effort, making sure your processors have a good home while being stocked or shipped is very cost-effective in the long run. Avoid storing your CPUs in bins with any other objects that can damage them, including other processors. If you have large quantities of processors, it is best to store them in CPU trays that are designed to protect the heat spreader and capacitors. These trays are space efficient and can be stacked and stored until shipment. Keeping them well organized by model number makes inventory and resale simple.

Safe and Secure Shipping

When shipping, an empty tray should be placed on top of the last filled tray, and taped securely. If done properly, this will prevent CPUs from shifting and falling out of the trays, which can result in damaged processors. Smaller quantities of CPUs can easily be bubble wrapped and placed in an antistatic bag for shipping, or if accessible, a plastic case also referred to as a “clam shell” is safe for shipping single CPUs. Avoid taping or rubber banding your processors together creating the “sandwich” look; this can cause friction that can result in scratches and broken capacitors.

If you are in need of memory trays, including those for desktop and laptop, processor 775 trays can be purchased from companies like Exit Technologies.

Damage Prevention Outcome

These actions help meet your IT asset disposal objectives. The ITAD vendor should help their clients dispose of old, used and spare processors properly by engaging in a thorough product assessment. Whether it is going to be scrap or treasure, all CPUs should be appraised in an environmentally safe R2 certified warehouse. By taking a few extra steps to properly store and ship your IT hardware, you can help prevent value reduction.

Go R2 with Your CPUs

In addition to a committed staff striving to improve and implement user-friendly systems, the vendor should be a certified leader who takes IT asset recycling and disposal not only seriously, but passionately. They need to understand how improper disposal of electronic equipment can be a hazard to the environment that we live in today and to our future environment. In my experience, that passion has led to the creation of a standardized CPU sorting process that optimizes vendor payout and proper disposal of damaged or obsolete processors.

The Moving Market

Keeping up with the market for liquidated assets and their components requires attention and background knowledge. Based on the generation of equipment that we are in today, the value of Xeon processors are on the rise, whereas desktop processors are decreasing in value. Xeon model numbers that are of high value are 2011 pin E5, and E7 series, and 1366 pin Xeon processors such as E5500 and E5600.