PS5 APU-powered mining GPU hits eBay for $500 — a PS5 chip with two less CPU cores and half the memory that consumes around 90W

The BC 250 mining GPU based on the PS5 APU.
(Image credit: Dylan Taylor)

Five of AMD's crypto-oriented BC-250 graphics cards, which use the PlayStation 5 APUs (codename Oberon) instead of regular GPU chips, have hit eBay for just $500 each (via VideoCardz). The BC-250 starred initially in one of ASRock's Mining Rig products in 2022, which retailed for $14,800 and contained 12 BC-250s. That's $1,233 per card, so this $500 eBay listing is, in theory, a great deal. However, it might need even more discounts, given that today isn't a great time to get into cryptocurrency mining.

The BC-250 presumably exists for the same reason that AMD's 4700S does: to use PS5 APUs that didn't come out of the oven right. Consequently, the specs of these BC-250 cards are cut down, with just six out of eight CPU cores enabled, and it's also possible that at least some (or even all) of the graphics cores are also disabled. The BC-250 also comes with just 8GB of GDDR6, as opposed to the 16GB on the PS5.

The eBay listing person also made a Linus Tech Tips forum post detailing other essential specs. It seemingly has a functioning GPU, unlike the 4700S, with a reported core clock speed and a memory clock speed of 1,145 MHz and 450 MHz, respectively. The BC-250 consumes about 90 watts of power, indicating that it is significantly faster than the 4700S, which hit 68 watts on average in our testing.

The BC-250 isn't just a graphics card, though; thanks to its CPU cores, each BC-250 can be its computer. The user who made the forum post and the eBay listing says he has each card running Ubuntu off of a 32GB flash drive. That's unique among mining cards, otherwise made from graphics chips with no CPU cores.

On the surface, $500 each for one of these GPUs sounds pretty good compared to the $14,800 it would cost to buy 12. However, today isn't the best time to get into crypto mining. Crypto is in a slump at the moment, and although popular currencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum have seen recovery since October, the market is still well down from its peak in late 2021. Plus, given how fickle crypto is, this recovery might be short-lived.

Mining has also taken a hit from Ethereum's switch from proof-of-work to proof-of-stake. The work in proof-of-work is mining, but a proof-of-stake system asks users to put up their coins to get the rewards that mining used to offer, which means mining Ethereum is no longer possible. Proof-of-work is infamous for all the power it wastes, and many cryptocurrencies, like Ethereum, are switching to proof-of-stake to solve that issue.

There's also the question of whether you'd rather have a GPU or an ASIC designed to excel at mining specific coins. The BC-250 isn't precisely the best graphics card for mining, especially considering its unique inclusion of CPU cores. For $500, you might be better off getting a used RTX 3080 or RX 6800 XT.

Matthew Connatser

Matthew Connatser is a freelancing writer for Tom's Hardware US. He writes articles about CPUs, GPUs, SSDs, and computers in general.

  • Findecanor
    If you would buy it, you would support cryptocurrency mining.
  • toffty
    How is crypto coin still alive? We already know it's artificially inflated price wise and is used nefariously by nation states.
  • umeng2002_2
    So that's why PS5s were so hard to get...
  • terabite
    umeng2002_2 said:
    So that's why PS5s were so hard to get... these are defective. If amd ate into the ps5 chip stock these would be the full fat cpu+gpu, and would probably need a stupidly beefy cooling solution like the actual ps5.
  • TechLurker
    This seems like a fun and novel means of experimenting with a "PC in a Slot", similar to the more expensive micro-computers from Intel that make use of a CPU, iGPU, and a built-in storage medium on a PCIe card.
  • bit_user
    terabite said:
    If amd ate into the ps5 chip stock these would be the full fat cpu+gpu, and would probably need a stupidly beefy cooling solution like the actual ps5.
    The PS5 APU got a respin at TSMC N6, which reduced power consumption & made current gen PS5's much lighter (due to smaller heat sink, fan, & PSU).

    Also, they can cut down the clock speeds to keep cooling in check.