Where do PS5s go when they die? They don’t go to heaven, where the angels fly—it appears AMD has other plans for dearly departed gaming consoles. AMD might be taking the APUs (the combined CPU and GPU chip) from broken Playstation 5 consoles and repurposing them for expensive crypto mining rigs.
The ASRock BC-250 mining rig, which features 12 AMD BC-250 mining cards, might have the APUs from defective Sony Playstation 5 consoles, according to leaker Komachi via Tom’s Hardware. There’s no CPU listed on the product page, which means that one of the PS5 APUs’ CPUs is most likely handling non-mining related tasks. The rig uses 16GB GDDR6 RAM, which is coincidently how the PlayStation 5 is set up.
One of the reasons crypto miners go for systems like this is that the BC-250 boards’ performance isn’t hindered by a LHR limiter (which has been the cause of a recent ransomware attack) like that on Nvidia’ RTX 30-series cards, which is intended to deter crypto mining. Though that hasn’t reportedly hindered cryptocurrency miners much, it must be said.
The ASRock Mining Rig is currently selling for almost $15,000 in a Slovenian online retailer. An AMD BC-250 card can generate about $2 a day in ETH (at its current value) after factoring in electricity costs, which means miners can see returns in less than two years mining ethereum. With ethereum’s proof of stake transition coming ‘soon’ (supposedly), which pushes out crypto miners, maybe investing in an energy-wasting mining operation isn’t the best long-term investment.
This isn’t the first time AMD, a supplier of Sony, has used bits of dead PS5s in other products. The AMD 4700S desktop kit was a motherboard whose chip packaging was identical to what you’d find in the next-gen console.
With something like 10 million Playstation 5s out there globally, it makes sense that a percentage of them would be bricked but still have a serviceable APU. However, showing up in crypto mining rigs for sale in Slovenia was not where I would have expected to see defective Playstation 5 silicon end up. AMD declined to comment on this story.
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