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Question Chia hard drive mining?

moonbogg

Lifer
Jan 8, 2011
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Seems like the next big thing. Are you guys doing it? It sounds like it's really taking off. It looks like the best way to go would be to sell off mining GPUs before they become useless and use the money to build a giant SSD farm. Your thoughts? Seems like SSD prices are already increasing in some regions.
 

IntelUser2000

Elite Member
Oct 14, 2003
7,610
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I read about it, and the plotting SSD needs to have high endurance and most recommend old enterprise SSDs like Intel DC SSD P3700.

It feels similar to ZCash in the beginning when it was briefly worth thousands of Bitcoins per ZCash, and dropped to sane levels. It seems the value per Chia is at $600? Why is it so high? Also the exchanges seem shady to me.
 

Shivansps

Diamond Member
Sep 11, 2013
3,365
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And long and short of it...

-You need A LOT of HDD storage... for solo mining TODAY the minimum is around 200TB, speed is not needed, best is to use external HDDs attached to USB hubs.

-Pool mining is only avalible today at hpool, what is shady at best. Yet, im using it in order to see what happens.

-In order to be able to mine you need to create the "plot" files, then the miner uses those plot files to mine, this process uses very low bandwidth.

-The plot files needed are the K32 ones, that uses 108GB for the finished plot file and 239GB of temporal space in order to generate it.

-The plotting process uses 2 or more threads, and around 4GB of ram to create one plot (you can configure that), the temporal files needs a very fast NVME, and still takes several hours to complete.

-You only need the NVME for the temporal files to generate the plots, when your HDD storage is full of plot files SSDs arent needed anymore.

-Creating one 108GB plot writes around 1.5 to 1.8TB of data to the SSD, so 2TB consumer NVMEs only work to plot around 200TB. Sata SSDs will die very fast and cant be used.

-Ramdrive plotting using server motherboards arent any faster than a NVME, this is due to the fact that plotting is not optimised for this due to having to make a lot of ram copies, but i guess once DDR5 hit the market and >256GB is possible with consumer hardware that someone will come up with a plotter that works only on ram whiout having to use ramdisks.

-Pool mining may need re-plotting... thats a huge problem, hpool does not need re-plotting, you can use your solo plots on the pool.

-Difficulty is ramping up FAST.
 
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IntelUser2000

Elite Member
Oct 14, 2003
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-Creating one 108GB plot writes around 1.5 to 1.8TB of data to the SSD, so 2TB consumer NVMEs only work to plot around 200TB. Sata SSDs will die very fast and cant be used.
NVMe makes it faster, and generally is higher end meaning more TBW, but SATA's are absolutely not out for Chia mining.

If you go with older Intel Enterprise drives they are often better because they have TONS of endurance.
 

aigomorla

Cases and Cooling Mod PC Gaming Mod Elite Member
Super Moderator
Sep 28, 2005
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If you go with older Intel Enterprise drives they are often better because they have TONS of endurance.
this is only if the drive is new, and not refurbished.
Also intel/micron joint 3dxpoint drives the u.2 version of nvme's are extremely resilient.
Far more then micron, toshiba, samsung.
 

IntelUser2000

Elite Member
Oct 14, 2003
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Yea of course, but 3D XPoint drives are super pricey. I regret not getting the 280GB version when it used to be $500 cdn.
 

Red Squirrel

No Lifer
May 24, 2003
60,850
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www.uovalor.com
Great, now we're going to have a hard drive storage again lol.

All these shortages such as the silicon chip shortage show how fragile our whole supply chain/manufacturing economy really is though. Everything is being run at 110% with no contingency plan, and any slight increase in demand sends everything down the drain.

For hard drives my guess is motors will be the main issue, as there is only one company in the world that makes the motors for them. Nidec in Thailand. If they can't keep up with extra demand we're going to see shortages.

I imagine SSDs are already affected by the silicon shortage so this may just make it worse.
 

Shivansps

Diamond Member
Sep 11, 2013
3,365
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HDD shortage is a non issue for PC users these days, but it will put more pressure on sata SSDs, but im mainly worried about NVMEs, we are talking about destroying M2 in days here by plotting.
 
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moonbogg

Lifer
Jan 8, 2011
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If people find out they can actually make a profit doing this, you won't be able to find an SSD to save your life.
 

Red Squirrel

No Lifer
May 24, 2003
60,850
9,063
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www.uovalor.com
That's crazy that it's killing drives that fast. Such a waste. I normally don't care about mining, I blame the manufacturers for not being better set up for upping production of products to meet demand, but what I do have something against is activities that generates excessive ewaste, and it sounds like this is what is going to happen.

Guessing it's not feasible to use HDDs in raid 0 for this? I have to admit I was intrigued at the idea of HDD mining when I first heard of it but I would not want to be wearing out SSDs doing it.
 

IntelUser2000

Elite Member
Oct 14, 2003
7,610
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Actually the miners are stupid for using small consumer drives when they should be aware how much TBW it would write to an SSD.

A typical 250GB SATA SSD has a lifespan of 100TBW. That's enough for 50-60 plots, which can be met with a single 8TB HDD and still has space left over.

You want something like the Sabrent Rocket NVMe drive which at 2TB capacity has 3.6PBW. That'll be able to handle 2000 plots, or 200TB of drive space, which is in the price range most people will shy away from. Plus the NVMe drive will plot faster and/or plot more at once so you can get those drives "mining" quicker.

Also you are wasting money by buying those super cheap SSDs, since you'll spend more on replacing them, when a single good drive like the Sabrent lasts 36x longer. It certainly doesn't cost 36x as much.

Even Optane SSDs start to make sense. The 1.5TB version may cost $3500 brand new, and $2500 in eBay, but has 27PBW. And I bet you'll be able to plot more in parallel than the regular NVMe drives without losing per plot performance, allowing you to get those plots available for mining faster.
 
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Shivansps

Diamond Member
Sep 11, 2013
3,365
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Guessing it's not feasible to use HDDs in raid 0 for this? I have to admit I was intrigued at the idea of HDD mining when I first heard of it but I would not want to be wearing out SSDs doing it.
That has been tested already, for example, if you have 4, 6 or 8 1TB HDDs instead of using Raid 0, it is a lot faster to do 4, 6 or 8 plots in parallel, one on each HDD. You are going yo need a lot of CPU cores and ram for doing 8 plots in parallel.
 

PingSpike

Lifer
Feb 25, 2004
21,604
456
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HDD shortage is a non issue for PC users these days, but it will put more pressure on sata SSDs, but im mainly worried about NVMEs, we are talking about destroying M2 in days here by plotting.
I'd expect to see a lot of 90% worn out "refurb" SSDs show up on the used market.
 
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aigomorla

Cases and Cooling Mod PC Gaming Mod Elite Member
Super Moderator
Sep 28, 2005
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Im confused on why someone can not ISCSI this on a separate SAN With like a gazaillion 15k SAS drives in R0 or R10 and use that as a plot point.
Maybe someone can tell me why this isn't possible?

Is it the latency issue because im sure bandwidth would get close.
 

Soulkeeper

Diamond Member
Nov 23, 2001
6,648
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I'm already seeing price increases over the past few days.
The gouging has started for both hd and ssd.

On the plus side, we can always hope this will lead to manufacturers putting more emphasis on endurance.
 
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Shivansps

Diamond Member
Sep 11, 2013
3,365
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Im confused on why someone can not ISCSI this on a separate SAN With like a gazaillion 15k SAS drives in R0 or R10 and use that as a plot point.
Maybe someone can tell me why this isn't possible?

Is it the latency issue because im sure bandwidth would get close.
Its probably due to how the program uses the drive during plotting plus parallel plotting not being efficient on HDDs, Raid0 tend to be very fast for sequential but HDD in general are awfull for everything else.
As i said, this has been already tested with raid setups and doing X plots in parallel one for each of the X number of HDDs in the system is faster than the same of X number of drivers in raid 0.

Keep in mind that you are not going to do one plot in the raid at the same time, you want to do 4 or 6 (depending on the cpu and ram avalible).

The future to me is a new plotter that can work directly on RAM whiout having to use a temporal disk, that is what is killing ramdisk plotting efficiency.
 

ElFenix

Elite Member
Super Moderator
Mar 20, 2000
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someone on reddit spotted a customer at costco with a cart full of seagate hub drives. seems like those would be perfect, already have the usb hub built in so daisy chain one to the other with your pi on one end and power strips behind.

either that or he's going to keep them NIB and scalp, relying on costco's generous return policy if they don't sell.
 

nosurprises

Member
Jan 4, 2021
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I'm already seeing price increases over the past few days.
The gouging has started for both hd and ssd.

On the plus side, we can always hope this will lead to manufacturers putting more emphasis on endurance.
How does increasing endurance make them more money? They can make more money by miners killing the SSDs and buy more; though there is more ewaste, that's not anyone involved in the mining's concern.
 

Soulkeeper

Diamond Member
Nov 23, 2001
6,648
105
106
How does increasing endurance make them more money? They can make more money by miners killing the SSDs and buy more; though there is more ewaste, that's not anyone involved in the mining's concern.
It don't, that's why we've been seeing endurance decrease over the past several years.
It's been a race to the bottom driven by $$.

On a side note, I see TeamGroup's new chia "ultra-durable" ssd as a scam. They charge 2x the price and it's likely just the same/similar hardware as the competition. If they charge 2x the price they can afford to replace the failures.

In the early days we used to be able to read/write our SSDs constantly 24/7 with no worries.
Many people did this, even on these forums, just to see if they _could_ kill the ssds. Few actually managed to cause failures. Now anyone can cause failures with most any new consumer drive in a matter of weeks/months with some effort.
 
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moonbogg

Lifer
Jan 8, 2011
10,195
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So, a guy makes a crypto currency, gives people a chance to mine some of it, popularity explodes, guy gets super rich? I'm sure he didn't invent a crypto without making sure he had a crap load of it himself. Right or wrong?
 
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Soulkeeper

Diamond Member
Nov 23, 2001
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That might be a slightly cynical view, but I suppose you are mostly right.
It's similar to many things in life these days. Essentially a pyramid scheme. The early ones get rich, the ones in the middle make a few bucks (and have a vested interest in promoting it), and the late comers make nothing. It's like all those people in warren buffet's home town that got to come along for the ride and invested in his company early.

I must admit, I got really excited when I first saw this thing in the news. Now i'm starting to calm down and step back to reality.
I did the math, then was kinda sickened by the idea of encouraging everybody to build 100TB+ drive setups in their closets.
 
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Shmee

Memory and Storage, Graphics Cards
Super Moderator
Sep 13, 2008
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I think I will stick with ETH and BTC and the like for now. I am not really sold on this.
 
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