Economics of farming

The economics of farming are really lol.

Considering a 350$ Samsung 980 Pro with 1200 TBW endurance:

Each K32 plot will require 1.4 TB in temporary writes to disk.

Therefore, the Samsung 980 Pro will produce around 857 plots before it dies its honorable death.

With 857 plots and the current difficulty, the current time to win a 2 XCH reward is around 2 months.

The price of 2 XCH is around 520$.

The price of 93 TB of slow HDD space (to store 857 plots x 0.1089 TB) is around 2’200$.

Currently, you would therefore be spending 2’550$ and earning 520$ every two months: ie, loosing 2’030$ every two months.

In order to break even, the price of 1 XCH would therefore have to rise from 260$ to 1,275$ and the difficulty would also have to remain constant.

So are we all here hoping XCH will suddenly rise very much above 1’275$?

It would be great if XCH suddenly becomes $1275+. I do expect XCH to climb over $1000. I don’t have any sort of expectation of when it will do that. I am basically holding hope that it will do that eventually.

For a total investment $4500 CAD I have a slow plotter (4 K33s every 24 hours) and a farm with 12x8TB HDDs that hold 420 K33s.

At this time, the earnings on my bet work out to about $200 CAD per month. So I am actually looking at an ROI in two years.

I will soon be adding another array and 4x8TB HDDs ($500 CAD) which will easily keep me ahead of network growth (unless Chia price goes up which speeds network growth), and more later as long as fundamentals remain good. My plotting speed is also more than adequate to stay ahead of network growth.

Please read the thread below to find out how wrong you are in your 980 death assumption, NVMEs are lasting far past warranted TBW. NVMe cost is pennies per plot.

And you got this completely wrong.

You do not have to pay for your HDDs every two months and there is no almost such thing as a “slow” HDD for Chia farming. HDD replacement is many years away. Chia farming is easy on HDDs and they will last well past warranted dates as well.

The economics are not incredible, but they are more than good enough for me to continue rolling with my bet. If Crypto and Chia succeed and grow over the next 5 years then I will make a considerable profit on my bet.

Outside of failure, my happy hobby and bet will pay for itself in two years and then continue to provide a small income. If, on the other hand, POST and Chia take off, then I will have a small gold mine. :sunglasses:

I would not recommend that you start your Chia farm now unless you have some deep pockets and understand that Chia is a bet, not an investment, but I am very happy that I started my farm early and think the economics are perfect. A low Chia price keeps the total network growth curve down. That network growth is actually your scariest economic opponent. At this price and network growth rate I can easily and cheaply stay ahead of the curve. If Chia price and network growth explode, then so does the value of my bet (which I would then be able to proudly call an investment, lol)! It would then even make sense for me to invest in a faster plotter and more and more storage.

Be well! :smiley:


That’s not really how it works though.

The HDDs you use will last ‘forever’, the plots on them will last ‘forever’, you do have to sink some cost in the beginning, let’s say it’s 2.5k, but you don’t have to spend that again.


Also at this point if I was building a brand new plotting machine I would not use nvme temp at all for plotting… The speed isn’t necessary anymore, and if you actually do want to plot fast you could build a 128gb ram box and do it in memory faster than any ssd.

Folks also have taken the strategy of burning ~90% of the estimated life (which due to low write amplification is really probably more like 30% used) and then reformat for a os drive that will rarely see writes after installation and so will survive a long time anyway.

As others have pointed out hdds are a one time cost, except for replacing failed drives which should be very rare.

You can play with the ROI numbers with this tool:


I don’t think you understand a long term investment… You are trying to get your money back in a single block or something… you will farm for years and earn 12XCH per year in your example… WHich means you will pay back your investment in a few months.
Also, the TBW of your drive will be higher than the rated due to the way you are writing your data weiith chia and also if you are configured correctly.

What is most relevant in the economics of Chia farming is the cost of electricity to run your farm once it is plotted and whether the equipment you are using to plot is resaleable or can be repurposed once it has completed the plotting.

My NVME is rated for 750 TBW, and yet I’m going on 2 Pib with 28% left.


My bad for making HDD drives a recurring cost. Obviously it is a one-time cost.

And thanks for the good news about NVMEs lasting beyond their rated TBW.

So the only real consumables are NVMEs and electricity.

No the economics makes no sense… in today’s money. But this is a speculative investment. We’re hoping that someday many years from now (or hopefully sooner) that our investment will pay off a hundred fold, and that unicorns really do exist… :unicorn: :crazy_face: giddy up horsey!

Not sure why it doesn’t make sense in todays money? My ROI is about 10 months. I’m sure if I added little things here and there (USB hubs, electricity, etc) it would be about 12 months… But after that I’ll be making nothing but profit every month, and also still havve the value of the used HDD’s. Just because return isn’t instant, doesn’t mean it doesn’t make sense.


If you’re starting out now I’d look at higher-RAM builds running MadMax rather than builds with lots of parallel NVMEs. RAM has much more endurance and is much more resaleable than SSDs.

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It will only be mostly dead…and mostly dead is still somewhat alive. :laughing: Or actually…totally healthy!! Here’s mine after 2600TB and still going strong:


Then you’re doing something very different from me! Or you’re fudging your numbers real hard, yeah if I pretend my hdd’s last forever and costs nothing I can probably make my ROI positive too. That or your hard drives are stolen.

As far as I am concerned my ROI is in the negative, and my break even period is many years from now. Not gonna lie, finance is not my strong suit. :crazy_face:

You’re ROI is 10 months? Pretty sure that’s how long its going to take me to win a single block. And that will cover… 15% of my current investment (and my farm is still expanding, albeit slowly).

I’m not expecting to make any money from this if I’m using today’s value of XCH, which is why I’m saying the economics makes no sense using todays money i.e today’s value of XCH.

What I am doing is acquiring an asset (XCH), and hoping said asset will appreciate in value many times over someday. I am betting on the future of this coin, not trying to make a return on todays value of XCH. Which kinda makes figures like ROI moot.

I know someone will say “If thats your goal, then you should buy the coin instead of instead of investing in hardware!” To them I say… wheres the fun in that? :man_shrugging:


If you spend 2.5K fixed on plotting and farming hardware, and then only run 30TB worth of plots on it, it will take much longer to pay off the 2.5K fixed cost than it would if you run 300TB on it.

My realistic ROI is about 2 years for 350TB (NFT pooling) at today’s prices and assuming netspace growing linearly at the rate it has for the last 30 days - but I will probably sell the plotters soon, so might be even quicker.

So I wrote about this months ago. TBW is not a “life of the disk” rating, it is a “warranty valid until” number. It doesn’t die in a poof when it hits that number, the SSD manufacturer calculates what they think the worst case scenario (inside their predicted usage) will be that they can profitably warranty the drive. Almost all drives will survive past the TBW date, some by significantly more. You can also extend that life by keeping the drive cool, never filling it and making sure you trim it properly every time you delete a lot of space.

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I’ve seen people buy lots of unneeded crap for this. If you pay under $20/TB for your HDD, you can get an ROI of 10 months. But again, I added in the price of a few cheap USB hubs, and electricity… So I’ll guestimate 12 months.

EDIT: OK, so I’ve payed under $20 USD /TB, but just to make the math easier, I’ll put it right at $20 each. I have 88 TB. My estimated return at the current price on 88 TB is $145 per month. At those conservative numbers, it puts my right at 12 months. So, I’ll just add on 2 months for the NVME and electricity I bought. So, I’ll just say 14 months. Not bad at all.

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Ahhh bro math alert.

I’m paying 18.50GBP/TB which is about … $25/TB (Its the cheapest I can get, sue me).
I’m making (according to my pool dashboard) $60/month on 55TB.
Which works out to be $1.09/TB per month.
You’re making ($145/88TB) which is $1.64/TB per month.

So your drives are 20% cheaper (per TB) than mine, and you’re making 50% more (per TB) than I am. :joy:

Yeah I’m clearly doing this chia thing wrong.

According to, you should be making somwhere around $96 USD a month on 55 TB, or 50 TiB

Did you include the 0.25XCH farmer reward portion in these calcs?