How are you getting the plots off your plotters to your farmers?

Okay…maybe I am over the top here. I have a plotter with a 12GBs SAS RAID controller connected to 8x400GB SAS3 enterprise SSDs in RAID0 and 72x146gb SAS2 hard drives also RAID0. I use the SSD RAID as a cache to the SAS hard drive array. It takes approx 15 sec to get Bladebit Ramplot to write to this array. My plotter has a dual 10gbs NIC and is hooked directly to a like dual 10gbs NIC on my farmer (no switch between them a direct connection). There is Software that Intel has packaged with the driver that let’s you combine the 2 ports together (You can do this thru windows to a lesser degree as well). I can transfer files between these 2 machines (Plotter and Farmer @ close to 40gbs over this connection. My farmer has 12x 1.8GB 10K SAS3 hard drives in another RAID0 array. I use this array as a drop disk for my plotter. I use robocopy to get the plots from plotter to farmer and plan on using robocopy to get them from the drop array to final plot storage as well. My plotter has room for 4 GPUs on 4 pcie3x16 slots. I plan to purchase 4 Tesla P4 GPUs on the plotter as they are single slot cards and require no power connections. I think I will be able to make an average of 2 to 3 minute per plot as I can run 4 instances of GPU plotter at a time (Plotter has 1TB of RAM 256GBx4 required for all 4 instances).

Why all this? Because I already have all the hardware except the GPUs, which I can get for about 400 USD. I plan on growing my farm and replotting to take advantage of the compressed plots.

I’m sure most of you will find a more efficient way of accomplishing the same task but for me this is more of a hobby than a capital venture. I’m just having fun playing.

How do some of the rest of you plan on replotting and getting those plots to your farmers? If you’re not shy, I’d be interested to read about some of the rest of your plans or setups.

Thanks for anyone who bothers to read this.

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That is a really cool system, bit bad timing though :joy: but you already knew that.
But it will still be pretty sick with 4xP4 in it. Do full-height cards not fit in that case?

I just finished my plotter and although I also like this as a hobby, cash is also a thing. Also for me big part of the hobby is to get it done on a budget.

I got a system now with a 1070ti, 256GB ddr3 and dual 2630L v2. Tested it yesterday with both BB and MM, plots are around 4.75 minutes. Total cost just shy of 500,- euro
I only have 22 drives to replot and just finished my new DIY JBOD’s. .
My plan is to just hook those up with the sas port and copy to the drives from a 1TB buffer nvme. By copying to alternate drives in sequence it should be able to keep up with plotting even though it’s SAS II

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my farmer plots. That way, there is no transfer process


Yes my plotter supports full height cards it is a Supermicro 4U Super Server 4048B-TR4FT W/ X10QBi motherboard.

Really neat making your own JBODs. The hobby room engineering some people do is amazing and gives me new ideas. And it’s not as if I do not have a budget, so I understand.

My farmer is a dual Xeon e5-2697 v2. I was using it to plot as well till I found a good deal on my new plotter. It’s a 4 cpu system that has E7-4890V2 cpus installed. I may downgrade my farmer to a single Xeon board in time to save a little bit of power. Depending on if I use those CPUs for farming or go GPU only farming for compressed plots. I am reworking my farm atm with 16 bay 3.5 hard drive cages and sas expanders to make what amounts to open frame JBODs to slide into a 4 post 27u server rack. When I get it up and running I will post picks =) I will be able to install 16x16bay cages and the associated SAS expanders/wiring/power supplies/buck converters(for the needed 5V power) and cooling. It will be real fun putting it all together. I am waiting for the drive cages to come from China. Should keep me busy for quite some time=D

Thank you for taking the time to reply.

Yeah, I started with a single system farmer/plotter, too. But I am the kind of guy that can’t leave well enough alone…
Thanks for your reply.

I think its all a matter of size.

If I had a >5-10 Peta farm, I would think about a separate plotter.
But my Site is remote and I cant swap harddisks several times a day/week.
After all the farm is a set it and forget it project for me. I try to reduce work, not increase.
As of right now, I add the harddrives, and a script automatically initializes them, plotts them full and integrates them into the farm. How slow or fast that process is is secondary to me as I can only purchase a limited number of drives per Month.

I have designed my own hard drive carriers with 10 Harddrives each. I think If I had a separate plotter, I would just attach them to my plotter and then transfer badge sizes of 180TB.


Really neat homemade hdd cage! You seem to be a lot smarter than I am about making your farm hands off. Of course, the constant tinkering is kind of the draw for me. If I am not elbows deep into something with unwashed hair standing on end and a sandwich plate or two on my desk because I am in my dungeon playing with my chia set up and forgot all about time, I just don’t seem to be happy =D. Unless I am walking my dogs in the park I like tinkering in my man cave.

Speaking of DIY hard drive racks for cheap…check this out. diy ssd or hard-drive rack $3.oo - Bing video

This guy makes it look far easier than it is, ha! But it is cheap.
Thank you for your reply.