AMD And ASRock Built A $15K Crypto Mining Rig Seemingly From Recycled PlayStation 5 APUs
Custom hardware from AMD powers the latest generation game consoles from Microsoft (Xbox Series X|S) and Sony (PlayStation 5), but not every APU designed for these systems makes the cut. What do you do with these excess chips if you're AMD? Find ways to recycle the partially defective hardware, such as injecting them in 4700S/4800S Desktop Kits and, apparently, cryptocurrency mining rigs.
Komachi, a notable leaker on Twitter, spotted a listing for a barebones ASRock mining rig outfitted with a dozen AMD BC-250 APUs. According to a Google translation of the product page, this is a certified and tested item designed in "cooperation between AMD and ASRock."
Who knows what that really means—it could be nothing more than ASRock placing an order with AMD for BC-250 chips, or it could be a slighter deeper collaboration or partnership. Our guess is on the former.
Whatever the case, the tipster reckons the BC-250 chips are discarded Ariel/Oberon parts that were originally bound for the PS5, but didn't make the cut for whatever reason. Rather than discard the silicon, AMD is finding them new homes, this mining rig being potentially one of them.
Here's the rated mining performance of the 12 APUs combined, according to the product page...
- 610 MH/s on ETHASH (+/- 3%)
- 245 MH/s on RVN (+/- 3%)
- 610 MH/s on ETC (+/- 3%)
In addition to the 12 purported PS5 APUs, the rig is outfitted with 16GB of GDDR6 memory, two 1200W server power supplies, and five 80mm x 38mm fans housed in a closed Rackmount enclosure. It runs Ubuntu and Team Red Miner out of the box.
The system is listed at Bolha for €13,499, which works out to around $15,000 in US currency. Mining profitability calculators estimate a return on investment in anywhere from 565 to 679 days, though it obviously depends on electricity costs and how much Ethereum is worth over the longer haul.
How does this compare to a regular GPU setup? NVIDIA's GeForce RTX 3090 mines at around 120 MH/s at 300W. So it would take five of those cards to match the claimed mining output of ASRock's rig. That's $7,495 worth of GPUs at MSRP, plus other PC parts.