Home Here’s one Japanese store’s enterprising method of selling broken Intel chips — for less than $5

Here’s one Japanese store’s enterprising method of selling broken Intel chips — for less than $5


  • Intel CPUs sold from Gacha machine at fraction of cost.
  • Chips come with significant faults, such as missing cores.
  • Despite limitations, offer provides quirky, cheap souvenirs.

Would you like to get your hands on an Intel CPU for less than 5% of its full cost? Of course, you would.

Too good to be true? Almost. This story centers on an enterprising electronics store that is selling chips from a Gacha machine. Instead of dispensing a small plastic toy in an egg-shaped bubble, this one provides you with a handy piece of Intel hardware.

As detailed by YouTuber Sawara-San, for the modest sum of 500 Yen (roughly $3.25), you can walk away with a CPU, or as many as you want to fill your pockets with.

Further testing and diagnosis using Windows Task Manager revealed the Intel chip, as with all others on display, comes with significant faults. The Intel Core i7-8700 was found to have just five working cores and 10 threads when an optimum piece should be fully equipped with six cores and 12 threads.

What is the point of selling broken Intel chips?

For the price, no one can complain. It is a bargain, even if you will be limited as to what you can do with the chip, whose full, unbroken version currently retails for around $200.

And it’s a handy way for retailers to recoup some spare cash, given the alternative is for the hardware to end up on the scrap heap. This solution won’t be a permanent one, but it isn’t supposed to be. Governments and big tech must answer the bigger questions on e-waste but if, meantime, a few chips can find a new home and a longer lifespan, they still serve a purpose.

The CPUs can also be quaint souvenirs, as it’s not every day that tech enthusiasts get their hands on one (or many) of these chips to do with as they please. It’s another novelty idea from vendors known for them, and maybe not one that interests everyone. Still, what a quirky, fun, and inexpensive way to sell broken Intel chips.

Image credit: Ideogram

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The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

Graeme Hanna
Tech Journalist

Graeme Hanna is a full-time, freelance writer with significant experience in online news as well as content writing. Since January 2021, he has contributed as a football and news writer for several mainstream UK titles including The Glasgow Times, Rangers Review, Manchester Evening News, MyLondon, Give Me Sport, and the Belfast News Letter. Graeme has worked across several briefs including news and feature writing in addition to other significant work experience in professional services. Now a contributing news writer at ReadWrite.com, he is involved with pitching relevant content for publication as well as writing engaging tech news stories.

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