PS5 Crypto Mining: Can You Use Its Chips for a Mining Rig?

Published: December 12, 2023 | Last Updated: August 13, 2023

Markos Koemtzopoulos

Markos Koemtzopoulos is the founder and main writer of ElementalCrypto. He has been a lecturer at the University of Nicosia on cryptocurrencies and DeFi and has taught two courses on crypto and blockchain technology.

Sony’s latest console, the PlayStation 5, runs a powerful AMD GPU. Since GPUs are used in crypto mining many people are wondering whether you could use a PS5 to mine crypto when you are not playing.

PS5 crypto mining

The answer is no, not unless you are some tech geek genius. 

The main problem with using your PlayStation 5 to mine crypto is that you can’t connect third-party software to it. In theory, you could write your own code for Linux, which is open source, provided you were able to replace the firmware of the PlayStation. But that means you would have to write your own software to plug your miner into a crypto blockchain.

Another major problem is that the device would overheat. Hence you would need to create a cooling system. 

Finally mining most cryptos is inefficient with GPUs. You really need an ASIC device to mine most cryptos even those cryptos that were originally ASIC-resistant. 

Understanding Cryptocurrency Mining

To understand whether cryptocurrency mining on the PlayStation 5 is possible, it’s essential to have a clear understanding of how the mining process works.

Cryptocurrency mining relies heavily on computational power and the ability to perform numerous calculations quickly.

Crypto miners use specialized hardware to solve complex mathematical problems, which, in turn, validates transactions and helps maintain the integrity of the blockchain.

The process of mining cryptocurrencies involves verifying and adding new transactions to the blockchain ledger.

Cryptocurrency miners compete against each other to solve mathematical puzzles, and the first one to solve them successfully earns a reward in the form of newly minted cryptocurrency. This process requires substantial computational power and energy consumption.

One important aspect of cryptocurrency mining is the concept of mining difficulty. The difficulty level of mining adjusts regularly to ensure that new blocks are added to the blockchain at a consistent rate. As more miners join the network, the difficulty increases in maintaining the average block time. This ensures that the supply of new cryptocurrencies remains stable and prevents any single entity from gaining too much control over the network.

Another factor to consider regarding cryptocurrency mining is the choice of mining algorithm. Different cryptocurrencies use different algorithms, such as SHA-256 for Bitcoin.

Each algorithm has its own requirements in terms of computational power and hardware. Therefore, the feasibility of mining on a specific device, such as the PlayStation 5, depends on whether it can meet the algorithm’s demands efficiently (it can’t).

Is PlayStation 5 Suitable for Cryptocurrency Mining?

PlayStation 5, the latest gaming console released by Sony, boasts impressive hardware specifications. With its powerful 8-core AMD Zen 2 CPU and custom RDNA 2 GPU, the PlayStation 5 is optimized for high-performance gaming and demanding graphics rendering.

While the PS5 is a next-gen console with high-end GPUs, when it comes to cryptocurrency mining, things ain’t so rosy. Here are the main bottlenecks to mining with a PS5.

  • The PlayStation 5 has limited software capabilities. Unlike dedicated mining rigs that come pre-installed with mining software, the PlayStation 5 does not have native support for cryptocurrency mining.
  • Additionally, the usage of mining software on the PlayStation 5 could potentially violate the console’s terms of service and warranty agreements.
  • Another factor to consider is the energy consumption of cryptocurrency mining. Mining cryptocurrencies requires a significant amount of computational power, which in turn consumes a substantial amount of electricity. The PlayStation 5, while powerful, is primarily designed for gaming and entertainment purposes. Its energy efficiency may not be optimized for the intensive workload of cryptocurrency mining.
  • If you were to power it on 24/7, the device would overheat without a separate custom-built cooling system.
  • Even if you managed to overcome the cooling and software issues you won’t be able to cover the electricity costs. Plus you need to account for the upfront investment.
  • Gaming consoles are not specifically designed for mining. Their architecture may not be optimized for the complex calculations required in cryptocurrency mining. ASIC miners are so much more efficient at mining.

If you really want to give mining a go check out my post on how to mine altcoins.

Can PlayStation 5 chips be used in mining machines?

According to a leak, there is a company that manufactures crypto miners using the PS 5’s chips. The BC-250, ASRock, uses defective PS APUs. APU stands for  Accelerated Processing Unit. You can think of this as a combination of CPU and GPU.

ASRock is a recognized manufacturer but each server uses twelve AMD BC-250 APUs and costs about $ 15,000.

While I have heard some rumors that some Chinese hackers were able to convert a PS game console into a miner I have found nothing to substantiate them.

Wait, is it true that a Nintendo Switch was hacked to mine crypto?

Yeah, so YouTuber Stackshmaning showed in a video how he was able to convert his old Gameboy into a crypto mining machine. However, he says it would take more than a trillion years to mine a single bitcoin with it.

Comparing PlayStation 5 to Traditional Mining Rigs

When comparing the PlayStation 5 to traditional mining rigs, it’s clear that dedicated mining hardware offers several advantages.

Mining rigs, specifically designed for cryptocurrency mining, are optimized for maximum performance and energy efficiency. These rigs incorporate multiple GPUs or ASICs(in the case of Bitcoin mining) and advanced cooling systems, which enhance their mining capabilities.

In contrast, the PlayStation 5, primarily designed for gaming, does not have the same level of hardware optimization. While it can still provide mining functionality, its performance may be inferior to a purpose-built crypto mining rig that will have lots of GPUs.

Additionally, the costs associated with purchasing multiple PlayStation 5 consoles for a mining farm and the potential risks of voiding warranties and violating terms of service should also be considered.

Summing up

When considering whether the PlayStation 5 is suitable for cryptocurrency mining, several factors come into play. While the console offers impressive processing power, it lacks the specialized hardware and software optimization found in dedicated mining rigs. Furthermore, the PS5’s primary purpose is gaming, and using it for mining may not be the most efficient or cost-effective solution.

Another crucial consideration is the potential risks involved. Running mining software on the PlayStation 5 could result in increased operating temperatures and power consumption. This could potentially affect the console’s lifespan and performance.

If you are feeling let down by not being able to mine crypto with your PS5 there is a game you can play. It is called Crypto Mining Simulator.

It’s not the real thing but hey maybe you will learn something.

FAQs

Can any GPU mine crypto?

In theory yes but the best ones is AMD Radeon RX 600 XT graphics card or NVIDIA's 3070. However, you are going to need a lot of GPUs to mine crypto and will be better off if you join a mining pool.

Can you use a PlayStation to mine crypto?

No, playstation consoles are not designed for mining cryptocurrency and no one has successfully hacked the PS5 for that purpose yet. Even if they do it still will not be profitable to mine cryptocurrency with.

Recommended resources

Bitcoin mining CPU vs GPU: Which one is best?

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Markos Koemtzopoulos is the founder and main writer of ElementalCrypto. He has been a lecturer at the University of Nicosia on cryptocurrencies and DeFi and has taught two courses on crypto and blockchain technology.