Efficient plotting

while i can get used part for cheap I need to know their efficiency .
looking to inspect plotting procedure .
please link possible data source if u know any on the matter.
and please mention ur ssd succefuly plots count

Athon 3000G 16GB RAM Western Digital Blue M.2 SSD: 14 hour single file plot times, or about 3 plots a day staggered.

Celeron N4000 laptop, 4GB ram, external Samsung T7 SSD: 26 hour plot times - not enough ram to stagger plots.

Phenom II office box, 8GB ram, 7200 rpm hard disk drives for temp drives gets 20 hour single plots or 2-3 plots per day on staggered drives/jobs.

Intel Atom D525, 8GB ram, Samsung SATA Evo SSD - 50 hour plot times. CPU is too weak to run multiple plots. This one is the “free plots” as this is the low power farmer rig and always on. It still puts out 100+ plots a year so I’m letting it chug along lol.

If you’re serious about plotting, the madmax and bladebit crew can get you some good numbers. I haven’t gone down that road yet myself.

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Wow. I’d keep those numbers between you and the birds; They are terrible.


No doubt lol. I need to quit screwing around and build a plotter at some point.

Your 3000 with m2 can do ~3 hour plots with madmax, I am guessing

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Holy Molly :face_with_spiral_eyes: For perspective > doing 15.4 minute K32 plots with bladebit disk w/128GB mem + an SSD w/16 cores or 9.35TB plots/day. Not so cheap setup, but not the fastest either.

Even spending a few hundred $$ on a 2-3 yr old PC should slash above times bunches. I wouldn’t waste time/effort doing Chia w/such sad times. Further, ROI could take decades or longer, if ever.

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`im going to plot k34 . can u aprrove ploting time will go up in linar way compare to k32 ploting ?

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Well, sort of. You need significantly more resources for K34 plots over K32. I like K33s, they are still doable with a reasonable setup.


K34 is possible on any computer with 20 GB of RAM (perhaps even 16 GB, for yet slower results) and 1¼ TB of temp space.

I have been creating such plots on a laptop with an i5-8250U CPU, and a Samsung T5 as temp space.
It takes between 11 and 12 hours to create a K34 plot, using madmax.

As slow as that is, most likely any box, having enough RAM will eventually get the job done.
I once (and only once) used a portable, mechanical, USB drive as temp space (just for kicks), and it took 11 days to create a K34 plot, and that was using an AMD 5950X system, using madmax.

There are the questions:
“Will it work?” vs “How fast do you want it to work?”.

Normally, I create K34 plots on my two 5950X boxes (via madmax), both of which have 64 GB of ram (but 32 GB would be enough – looking at taskmgr’s free RAM value), and use Samsung’s 980 Pro NVMe drives for temp space.

Running one K34 plot at a time takes 3½ hours, and keeps my CPU pinned 95%+ of the time.
Running two K34 plots, concurrently (temp going to two different NVMe drives), takes 6 hours for both to complete (keeping my CPU pinned 99% of the time), which although is slower per plot, is, however, faster on average for creating two plots.

Although many factors are applicable for determining plotting times, I believe that the temp drive is top priority, and CPU speed is a close second place priority, with RAM speed being a distant third place concern (assuming you have enough RAM).

I have read many threads where poor speeds have been the result of slow NVMe drives. I do not recall anyone having abysmal speeds due to their CPUs. Perhaps there have been some folks with CPU slowness issues? But the temp drives seem to be the performance bottleneck nearly every time someone is looking to fix a performance issue.


Plot speed correlates well with CPU power/speed, doesn’t mean it is abysmal, just reasonable for what you have. Plots have a lot of calc in them, so it’s perfectly reasonable. SSD speed & write endurance are also required for fast times, plus hi-q nand, hi-cache PCI-E 4.0 helps a lot, and I’m sure DDR5 and PCI-E 5.0 will too, once some tests are done… we’ll all be :sob: in our :beer: about that soon enough!

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I would rather look at the CPU power usage (Watts), as I think that better correlates with plotting speed. What I see is that 200W CPU using MM will generate roughly 2 k32 plots per hour given an ideal setup. As far as ideal setup is not really the RAM speed, but rather how many GBs are there (being 128GB for k32 MM plots, and if less than that using RAM disk caching - e.g., Primo Cache). And of course, the third component is t1 space, so NVMe is ideal (based on PCIe version). Another option for MM is getting 256 GB RAM, and plotting k32 plots completely in RAM. Although, on PCIe3 boxes, the fourth component is actually PCIe bandwidth, and RAM + NVMe setups could be faster than those in RAM. With that said, regardless of what CPU is being used, small amount of RAM, and slow drive(s) will kill plotting times (with RAM speed being almost a non-factor).

Of course, BB v1 is faster, but it needs 512GB RAM for k32, and will not bite anything else but k32 (although, no need for NVMe). And the BB v2 looks promising potentially being faster than MM. As far as Chia plotter, I think that we all agree that it belongs in a joke category.

As far as plotting times scaling with k-values, no one plotter is using a ‘fixes’ amount of RAM or drives, so when k-values go up, those have to also scale linearly to provide linear improvement (what is rather an expensive road to take).

With that said for small / medium TB space, MM box selection should basically reflect the cost overhead for the farm (smaller farm, less powerful box / longer plotting times). For bigger farms BB on a fast box is at the moment the best option.

Long time ago, someone was advocating producing k32 plots on RPi, as very efficient solution. When we calculated the total power consumption, it was about the same as i9-10900.

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what about raiding sas drives ? protocol can support 12gb/s
can we plot on parralel drivers

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The short answer is “Yes”. You can plot using any drives, no matter their speed. And speed differs depending on the job being asked of the drive, and the design of the drive.

I know little about SAS drives. But any mechanical drive’s performance will pale in comparison to a fast NVMe drive.

The 12 gb/s figure (if by gb you mean gigabits) translates to approximately 1.2 GB (gigabytes) per second, which any good NVMe drive blows away.

I suppose that if you RAID 0 (or RAID 5) a dozen mechanical drives, that will help. But there is no getting passed the speed of the bus and the seek times of the drive’s heads.

And note that the rated speed of mechanical drives (and for the most part, SSDs, too) is for linear requests, and with large files. Once you ask mechanical drives to work on a few, simultaneous requests, or juggle lots of small files, the performance drops like a brick. That will not happen with quality NVMe drives. Yes, NVMe drives will have less performance with the latter type files. But the performance drop-off will be minimal.

The reason why computers with their OS on an SSD boot up so much faster vs those that have their OS on a mechanical drive, is because at boot time, countless small files are being processed. That is where an SSD shines. They handle a blizzard of small files like a walk in the park. And this is excluding the time for the mechanical drive to spin-up. For example, a re-boot, where the mechanical drive is already spinning will lose, decisively, to nearly any SSD.

Is there a reason you are looking to mechanical drives for plotting, instead of a good NVMe drive?

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is bladebit the plotter used in the official chia client now? or does it need to be downloaded separately?

There are three (actually 4 - 2 versions of MM) plotters in Chia client, standard Chia plotter, MM and BB.

You can just copy the respective MM and BB executables out and use them stand alone via the CLI.

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I’m pretty sure my brother plotted a lot of his plots on SAS connected spinning rust, but the 6Gbps variety.

I used an array of 200GB SAS connected Intel 6Gbps SSDs, I actually have 12Gbps SAS interface but the drives were too expensive.

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Dude wtf… Why aren’t you using madmax.
You don’t need a new build… you just need to keep up

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I’d actually be super interested to see what your plot times are with madmax. You’re running like five plotters there or something haha, so you will save so much time just for a little learning effort.

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Fair, lol. I’ll fire up an instance and see if I like the numbers. It sounds like I’m leaving plots on the table goofing around with the official plotter.

And for sure, I’m crapping out 4TBs a month just running two-ish machines at a time. Math says I can plot 24 TBs a month with all 5 cooking at once on official - I can only imagine if I switch to MM. It sounds like I just need to get serious - thx for the prodding guys, I’ll get to it.

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Actually, think @ronski mixed up some @dpak90. There is the original Chia plotter, the MM plotter, and the BB plotter within the Chia client. Then there is the ‘newest’ Bladebit Disk v2 plotter, using SSD and memory, not just memory. I don’t think there are two versions of MM, they are the same, just one offered separately out of the client.

It seems the BB v2 and MM are in a race to fastest, with the dust not settled yet, with BB v2 in the lead.

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