On eBay, AMD BC-250 “GPUs” have been found for sale, which were previously used for cryptocurrency mining. What’s most striking is that these GPUs utilize the APU manufactured by AMD for Sony’s PlayStation 5. In this way, the PS5 chips were assembled onto specially configured PCBs to create a GPU dedicated to a single task: cryptocurrency mining.
Today, this AMD BC-250 is practically useless, which is why we can now find them for sale to the public. It is also evident that this was a large-scale operation, as an ASRock system with twelve AMD BC-250 graphics cards is actually being sold — essentially, a rig made up of twelve PlayStation 5 chips.
The eBay seller indicates that each AMD BC-250 mining GPU, containing the PlayStation 5 chip and its 16 GB of GDDR6 memory, is sold at a price of $500. Clearly, if it hasn’t been sold yet, it doesn’t make any sense to purchase one of these GPUs today, especially considering the current value of cryptocurrencies.
To give you an idea, a complete system is capable of offering a Hash Rate of up to 610 MH/s when mining ETHASH and ETC cryptocurrencies. This means that each GPU will yield a profit of $0.2 per day. Obviously, GPU mining is a thing of the past and, as you can see, it is not profitable. You will never recover your investment, even more so considering the energy costs associated with running this equipment 24 hours a day. In reality, you would be paying only to incur losses.
Considering each GPU has a unit price of $500, this is more than the cost of purchasing a PlayStation 5 itself. The seller makes it clear that the GPUs have been used for mining. Despite utilizing a passive cooling system, they have been operating for one year in a thermally controlled environment. Despite the seller’s honesty, we doubt anyone will end up buying this type of GPU, especially at that price.
How did chips made for PlayStation end up in a mining GPU?
There are various hypotheses. One possibility is that people purchased PlayStation 5 consoles to disassemble them and reuse the chip for mining with the AMD BC-250. While it may not sound very profitable, during a time when GPUs were literally nonexistent, this was a way to keep feeding cryptocurrency mining farms.
From there, we could consider “conspiracies” where AMD or Sony themselves may have decided to extract more profits from these manufactured chips by allocating them to other purposes. It’s not far-fetched, especially when recalling news stories from that time when AMD and NVIDIA redirected chip production for gaming GPUs towards mining graphics cards. There were even instances of AMD reducing the production of other products, like CPUs, to incentivize producing more GPUs since they were all being sold to cryptocurrency miners despite their significantly inflated prices.
Essentially, we are seeing a similar situation in the past as to what is currently happening with the AI market. Specifically, the GeForce RTX 4090 is practically nonexistent in stores due to its affordability for those looking to enter the AI business.