Computers are more like humans than you might think. Although it still feels like something out of a sci-fi movie, powerful computer processors are behind major advancements in artificial intelligence (AI), a trend that is hot and valuable right now. Identifying where to sell CPUs can help you take advantage of that value.
The central processing unit (CPU) is the brain of the computer. It is the mechanism that converts 1s and 0s to a visual format that our brains can understand. And just like our bodies have a system of organs that are powered by our brain, computers are made up of a system of components powered by the processor.
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What this means is that the CPU plays a pretty important part in how well (or not well) a computer functions. It also means that computers that process a lot of data, run a lot of media, or immerse users in modern gaming are always in need of more CPU power.
Frequent upgrades leave behind a lot of unused tech. But every computer has different needs, and your used CPU technology still has a lot of value. Instead of tossing it in the recycling bin, let’s talk about options that will put money back in your pocket.
Choosing where to sell CPUs and other equipment takes some research. ITAD companies like BuySellRam.com can help companies, agencies, and data centers efficiently turn their old tech into fast cash.
Breaking Down the Basics on CPU Performance
Understanding why your used CPU has value warrants a discussion on the factors that make or break a good CPU. AMD and Intel are the two leading CPU manufacturers. If you look at any of their products, you will see that the manufacturer markets their CPUs in terms of cores, clock speed, cache, and processor type.
A core is a processing unit. Most processors sold today are either dual-core or quad-core. In simplified terms, this means how many tasks the computer can focus on at one time. High-end data center computers can have as many as 18 cores. So in terms of performance, more cores generally means more multi-tasking performance.
The CPU processes lots of little instructions every second in order to create the user experience that you see when you turn your computer on and click on programs. Faster clock speeds typically mean better performance, but there are additional factors to consider. For example, a higher clock speed doesn’t do any good if the other hardware cannot keep up with it. Clock speeds are typically measured in megahertz (MHz) or gigahertz (GHz).
The cache is a special type of memory that your processor uses to complete tasks. This memory comes installed in the processing unit and is available in three levels: L1, L2, or L3. The cache reduces the processing time that it takes the CPU to retrieve data from the main memory, resulting in a faster response time and better user experience.
This often overlooked aspect of the CPU impacts overall performance and can indicate whether the CPU is geared towards basic computing and word processing, or high-level computing. The first processor type is reduced instruction set computing (RISC). These processors tend to be smaller and operate at lower speeds for simple computing. The second type is complex instruction set computing (CISC). As you can imagine, these CPUs are much bigger and faster.
So, the bottom line is that the computing power of a CPU is dependent on several factors. While the processor type provides a general classification, a closer comparison is needed for the cores, clock speed, and cache when determining potential computing power.
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Determining What You Have to Offer
Let’s start with the big brands. AMD and Intel are the two leading brands of computer processor manufacturers, and each of them has dozens of high-quality, capable CPU models. There is a good chance that your CPU is from one of these manufacturers.
Is one brand better than the other? No─ much like the debate between Apple iOS and Android, both brands have a loyal following. The specs are much more important than the brand name on the CPU.
The AMD Ryzen 5000-series were the highest performing chips on the market at their debut. These CPUs power gaming computers and data-intensive applications with unmatched energy conservation. Intel released their Rocket Lake line to compete with the 5000 series. And Intel’s Adler Lake chips are coming soon.
With both brands offering competitive options, aside from brand loyalty, the decision usually comes down to price. Most often, AMD offers a better value for the tech in terms of pricing. Intel still holds on to a little more brand-name recognition. But who knows, they could realign their pricing strategy to be more competitive.
On the high-end, AMD Threadripper sells for between $900 – $3,750 compared to Intel’s Cascade Lake series, which sells for $800 – $2999. On the low-end, the AMD Ryzen 3 sells for $95 – $120, while the Intel Core i3 sells for $97 – $154.
Popular CPUs from AMD
AMD has a reputation for offering the most bang for a buck. But that doesn’t mean that high-end performance comes cheap. Specifically, let’s look at the AMD Ryzen 9 5950x. It is a 5000-series chip that boasts 16 cores and a 3.4 GHz clock speed (and a boost up to 4.9 GHz). It has 64 MB of cache. This chip is designed to make your mainstream desktop perform more like a high-end machine.
Other popular CPUs from AMD include:
- AMD Ryzen 3 series
- AMD Ryzen 5 series
- AMD Ryzen 7 series
- AMD Ryzen 9 series
- AMD Threadripper
- AMD Athlon Series
- AMD Athlon Pro Series
- AMD Ryzen Mobile Series
- AMD-A Series
- AMD FX Series
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Popular CPUs from Intel
Intel is a long-time fan-favorite with solid brand name recognition, especially when it comes to business workstations. However, when it comes to gaming performance, they still give AMD a bit of solid competition. From the economical i5-series to the powerful i9-series, Intel has many worthwhile CPUs to choose from.
Popular Intel CPUs Include:
- Intel Core i3 series
- Intel Core i5 series
- Intel Core i7 series
- Intel Core i9 series
- Intel Core Xeon Platinum
- Intel Core Xeon Gold
- Intel Core Xeon Silver
- Intel Core Xeon Bronze
- Intex Core Xeon (E, W, D)
- Intel Pentium Gold/Silver
Figuring Out What to Do with Extra CPUs?
First, let’s make a distinction between large lots and individual users. There are several options available to both, but understanding which category you fall in will help direct you to the most appropriate resources.
Who Sells Large Lots of CPUs and Other IT Assets
Companies may choose to upgrade CPUs as part of their competitive strategy. Or a bankruptcy may force the sale of a large amount of technology. Large lots of IT equipment hold the highest value for buyback brokers who can find customers looking to buy entire lots. This is the most efficient way to move used technology and provides the highest dollar-per-piece to the seller.
Common reasons that businesses upgrade large lots:
- Performance: Current demand bottlenecks the existing CPUs.
- Demand: Increased demand for digitalizing work.
- Green Initiatives: Increased power efficiency per unit.
- Space: Consolidating multiple units into fewer units with more power.
Who Sells Individual CPUs and Other Technology
Gamers who need to increase capacity in order to increase game performance seem to always be looking to upgrade. Professionals who need maximum computing power for graphic design also stay on the cutting edge of technology. As the pace of new technology continues to move forward, a certain percentage of individual users will always be investing in the latest and greatest tech─ leaving behind modestly used tech that still holds some value.
Individuals benefit the most from private sales and consignments on high-end items and retail buyback programs on mid-range items. While many tech brokers will make an offer for any size of lot, individual component sales may not be cost-effective after considering shipping and processing costs.
Options for Off-loading Unwanted Technology
If you have extra tech like CPUs to get rid of, consider these options before sending them to the landfill or letting them collect dust on the shelves as they become obsolete. These are arranged in the order by which you are likely to see the largest payout, beginning with the lowest. While selling locally limits the hassle of shipping, it also limits the pool of customers (competition) that drives up the price.
- Local Classifieds Sale
- Local Consignment Shop Sale
- Online Marketplace Sale (eBay, Amazon, or similar)
- Retail Buyback (Trade-In) Program (Amazon, Best Buy)
- Global Technology Broker Buyback Program (BuySellRam.com)
How is Value Determined
While the manufacturer sets the recommended pricing for new products, it can be a lot less clear how value is assigned for used products. In fact, the clarity of assessing value is often obscured as a way to work the deal in the buyers’ favor. So as a seller, how can you protect yourself?
Know What You Have
Your first line of defense is knowledge. Take the time to look into what you have and how popular it is with its intending computing application. If you can find a ton of good chatter about the product in a simple web search, there is a market for it. If the reviews are mostly lacking or hard to find, then adjust your expectations for a lower sale price. Other factors that affect value include the age of the CPU and the specs.
Give the Condition an Honest Assessment
Like everything used, the value falls in a range depending on the condition of the specific unit. If your equipment is filled with dust, has visible signs of wear, or fails to perform, this will hurt the value. There are still options for recycling obsolete or non-working technology, but the highest prices paid will go to units in the best condition.
Many programs buy CPUs in all conditions. Simply check the FAQs page for information on specific restrictions. Look for these common definitions:
New/Boxed: The product is new from the manufacturer and has never been opened.
New/Open: The product is new from the manufacturer but has been opened and handled.
Used/Like New: The product has minimal use with no signs of wear. These products were only used a short period of time before the buyer determined they were not suitable for their application.
Used/Good Condition: The product has light to moderate use with minimal signs of wear. These products come from frequent flyers on the upgrade cycle.
Used/Fair Condition: The product has moderate to heavy use with reasonable signs of wear. These products come from a variety of sources and are the most common.
Used/Non-Working: The product has been used and is non-functional. It may not power on, or it may have a defect that prevents normal usage. Non-working products hold value for recycling, a service that some buyback programs offer.
Check Market Prices
You can typically get a good idea of the ‘going rate’ of any tech component by looking up listings on marketplace sites like eBay. Keep in mind that these sale prices include costs like the fees to sell on that platform, shipping and handling, and other costs of doing business. The amount of money that the seller is putting in their pocket is much less. However, it is probably reasonable to expect a payout of one-third to one-half of the average sale price.
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Who Buys Used Processors?
Now that you have a good idea of what you have and what it might be worth, it is time to find the best outlet to sell your used processors. For large lots of CPUs, consider working with an IT Asset Disposition company (ITAD). These are businesses designed to properly dispose or allocate unwanted technology components.
BuySellRam.com is an ITAD company that is committed to providing the highest dollar paid and fast, efficient service with a simple buyback process. We make it easy to sell used CPUs and other technology in a variety of conditions. We specialize in bulk lots from corporations, government agencies, schools, and data centers. Get your offer today with an online quote.
For small lots and individual components, most sellers turn to online marketplaces like eBay or retail buyback programs offered through Amazon or Best Buy. BuySellRam.com is happy to consider your smaller lots, but we may not be able to make a competitive offer. Retail buyback programs are typically limited to whole devices rather than components like CPUs, so eBay or a local classifieds sale may still provide the best value.
Selling on eBay
In order to sell on eBay, you will need to create an account and verify your identity by linking a bank account. Once that is all set up, you can start working on your listing. You will need several pictures from different angles of the product you intend to sell. And, you will need to provide a thorough description of the CPU, including specs and condition.
Use eBays listing builder to fill out all of the required fields and create some flashy copy to serve as an attractive title and description. The online marketplace offers a large pool of shoppers, but it also attracts many listings. Taking steps to help your listing stand out will help the right buyers find your product.
You may choose to list as a “Buy It Now” listing or an “Auction” listing. The Buy It Now feature guarantees your price with the look and feel of a retail transaction. The auction listing allows you to set an optional minimum while potential buyers bid for the final sale price. This could net you much more or much less than you anticipate.
Once a sale is final, you will need to package and ship the merchandise to the buyer. eBay primarily uses Paypal to collect and hold funds in an escrow until the shipment is complete. Once the receiver has the package, your funds are released to you, and the transaction is complete pending feedback from both parties.
The downsides to selling on eBay include a high-touch process that requires a lot of effort from the seller, the potential for disputes, and platform fees for selling and shipping. For some sellers, the disadvantages are offset by the access to a global customer base.
Selling to an ITAD Company
Every ITAD company will have its own process, so be sure to check with the company you have chosen. However, the basic steps are similar. You will begin by gathering data on your CPUs like the quantity, brand, specs, and condition. Next, you will use that information to obtain a quote for a buyback offer. The ITAD company will assess your tech and compare it to current market values and make an offer.
If you move forward with the offer, you will have to box your stuff up and ship it to the buyer. Once they receive it, they will inspect it. Provided that everything matches the details provided in the original quote, you will receive your payment, and the deal will be done.
Deciding where to sell processors and other computer equipment depends on the amount of effort you are willing to put in. Most ITAD companies offer the added convenience of taking the hassle out of finding buyers and making sales.
The Bottom Line on Where to Sell CPUs and Other Equipment
Finding the right outlet to sell processors and other computer equipment depends primarily on the volume of equipment on hand. If you are an individual with a single CPU, a local consignment shop or online auction site like eBay are the best options. However, if you are an IT manager for a company or non-profit and you have a large number of CPUs or processors to get rid of, an ITAD company will be your best bet!
BuySellRam.com is an ITAD company that specializes in large lots of technology. We buy used CPUs and computer processors as well as many other types of technology. If you have computer components, mobile devices, smartphones, lab equipment, and much more, we can help you recoup some of your costs when it is time to upgrade. Contact Us and get started today!