Help Me Decide on a Long-Term Farming Setup

I’m capping myself at farming 48TB for the time being and will see how things play out in the long term.

I’m satisfied with my plotting setup, but I don’t have a reasonable, long-term farming setup figured out. I’m currently using my main workstation, but I’d like to offload that task to a dedicated piece of hardware.

I’m farming off of 6 USB drives of various sizes and have copious amounts of shelf space, but I’ve yet decided on what machine to actually do the farming.

Options on my mind:

Option Pros Cons
An old 2011 Macbook Air Have on hand, running Linux May not have high enough specs to support running a full node, very old
An old Dell T410 server Have on hand, fair bit of power Loud, high energy, oooooolllllddddddd
Raspberry Pi 4 Tiny, efficient Have to acquire, hear there can be issues due to slow SD card access
Inexpensive NUC or equivalent Small, efficient, versatile options for using as a server Price going up due to demand, would have to acquire
NAS Made for storage, efficient, versatile options if I choose not to farm Chia in the future Can have issues with farming plots, relatively expensive

Ideally I’d like to pick the lowest cost option with the maximal longevity and versatility. Also want to keep power consumption and heat output low. You can probably imagine I’m leaning away from the old server and the aged Macbook Air.

Are there other options I’m missing? What’s working for everyone else with a small farm?

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I think the Pi 4 is gonna be the go-to long term farm option – it’ll be used by a lot of people, it’s easy to obtain, it is standardized, and it’s quite mature.

I’d get the cheapest Pi 4 and a small, high quality name brand SD card and I think reliability will be fine.


i would go for rpi4 too, you can plug a bunch of drives (usb hub) with low power and low noisy… and easy setup.

im using one and will not change for sure.


If you want a bit of a step up from the base model Raspberry Pi 4 you could look into the Compute Module with a carrier board (there are a variety of carrier boards out there now). The Compute Modules also have the option of on-board eMMC memory that you can use as the boot device instead of the microSD card.

I haven’t used the Compute Module myself but I expect once I’m at a scale that requires more performance than a Raspberry Pi Model B I’ll move in that direction.

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Yeah there are higher octane versions of the Pi, like various compute modules… but I think there’s so much energy behind the Pi 4 it’s hard to pick anything else. Make sure it’s popular, is my main advice! Because when you need support or how-to, you’ll be in the same boat as a bunch of other people.

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Thanks for the suggestions, @vavi, @Pengor, @codinghorror!

I just picked up a Pi 4 and will report back with how the farming setup goes.


@s.preso I would be interested in hearing how you set it up. Many thanks.