How can I optimize my system? (Beginner level stuff here)

Hi guys :slight_smile:

I’ve been an official chia farmer for a few weeks now and have 60 plots. I’m using my regular PC and have an external 14TB drive I’m gradually filling using the regular Chia application. I’m getting a new plot in just over 6 hours. I have farmed 0.15 chia so far!

I like the idea of Chia and would like to grow my farm over the next few months. I’ve reviewed switching the the madmax plotter but…I just don’t get it…or don’t get it yet I guess.

My system is an intel i5-9400F CPU @ 2.90GHz, 2904 Mhz, 6 Core(s), 6 Logical Processor(s), I have 16GB of memory, I have a 500GB memory card in the M.2 slot where the OS resides, a separate 500GB SSD I’m using for plotting, and the 14TB Western Digital external drive where the plots are. The plotting drive I’m using is here Western Digital 500GB WD Blue 3D NAND Internal PC SSD - SATA III 6 Gb/s, 2.5"/7mm, Up to 560 MB/s - WDS500G2B0A : Electronics

My motherboard can support 64GB

OK so with that information…what’s my best option for speeding up the plotting process? I don’t need to do a hundred per day…but If I could crank out a plot in 2-3 hours then I’d be happy. I’d like to stick with the stock Chia plotter…but if it’s just not going to happen then I can redouble my efforts to figure out the madmax plotter.

Thanks for any comments you may have :slight_smile:


Pretty sure you’ll never, ever get 2-3 hrs from the official plotter, at least until they incorporate MadMax or something like it, into it, if they ever do. 6hrs isn’t all that bad actually, good work!

Truly, if you want to speed things up, at least for now, with a system like yours, MadMax is your answer. MM is super easy once you figure it out. Try youtube and search for vids about installing/running it.

Good luck!

If you are willing to tinker with hardware:

  • if your plotting ssd is a SATA, it will likely be the bottleneck
  • your motherboard + cpu may actually support 128GB RAM, despite manual saying 64. I have a Core i7 8700 + Z390 mobo. The specs say they support 64GB DDR4 2666, but I tried 4x 32GB DDR4 3600 from another computer and it worked no problem. Maybe a bios update will be required

If you switch to MM and upgrade RAM to make RAM Disk, your system should be able to crank out a plot in sub-60 minutes

MadMax is a great tool. You just need to know the CLI. So for the Linux folks, this is easy for them. For us windows folks, it is not easy and you could do stupid things to your farm. You will NEVER get our time to the 2-3 hours you want. Unless you go buy the insane INTEL SSD and have JMichael program it for you. LOL

I would upgrade your SSD to 2 TiB enterprise class. Upgrade your Memory as levels 2 & 3 during plotting are memory hogs. You will never get to plot in parallel and get a couple dozen completed in a day. But, as others have mentioned, if you take the time and experiment, MM is awesome. For me, I stick with the Chia plotter. It does not happen all the time, but with MM, the quality of a plot could be wonky and not do well. You need to do a health check on your plots every week IMHO and make sure you are in a good pool. Now, it comes down to the size of your storage to get your ROI. 100TIB Min. IMHO. Assure the quality of your plots are great. Good luck.

I hadn’t read that the madmax plotter doesn’t make plots “as well” (sorry, I don’t know the technical term if there is one) as the chia plotter. But I have read about how the Chia GUI is “supposed to integrate mad max soon”…like in posts from May and June. I’m thinking…maybe there is a reason it hasn’t been integrated? What’s the deal on this?

And maybe this is a misunderstanding on my part but if you are in a pool it shouldn’t matter how many plots you as far as ROI, only how much each plot cost as in $/TB. What am I missing here?


I’ll see if I can find out if 128GB is possible…although I’m not sure I want to spend that much on memory LOL.

Would switching from an SSD SATA drive to one of these guys help speed up my plotting?

(plus some kind of durable NVMe storage to put in it)

Or would it not be a significant increase in speed? Or does it depend on which plotter I’m using?


Hi Joe,

Take a look at PSChiaPlotter. It can work with both the official Chia plotter and MadMax. If you get stuck with it, check the Issues page, as there is a lot of good info there. You can try running few (2-4) official plotters in parallel, and see what improvements you will get.

Once you will get comfortable with that plot manager, you can try to install MadMax, and try that plotter with PSChiaPlotter. It starts with default settings, so no harm there, just may be a bit slower, than hand-tuning. That would be a safe start before attacking H/W changes.

Although, as people suggested, investing in NVMe/RAM is the sure path to improve your speeds.

I would go with something like that:

I have exactly the same enclosure and while it produces decent speed in synthetic benchmarks, there are problems with sustained stability during plotting. It gets very hot (meaning that enclosure does its job of removing the heat), but even with a fan blowing on it, the USB drive disconnects after a few plots

1 Like

Low budget option:
Put your OS on the WD blue sata ssd and use the M.2 nvme for plotting*. What are the specs of that m2 ?. If it happens to suck for plotting, this would be my top choice for spending a few bucks on.
adding 16GB of memory would also be recommended or Madmax might run out of space during plotting

Madmax: just install Stotiks windows version of Madmax, it comes with an easy GUI to run the plots, no need to use command line. It has .exe called plotmanager, imput the settings and away you go.

Don’t worry about Madmax plots not being equal to the “real” thing even Chia themselves are working to add it into the official Chia software.

*or like suggested above and pcie card to m.2 is also a fine option
Most important is to have the right type of M.2 ssd, only some are good for plotting

1 Like

Lsherring, not believing what I’m hearing you say! I’m solely a Windows based plotter using Madmax and (i can easily, but don’t) use original, and MadMax is way WAY easier than the GUI even!

Here are the difficult instructions…and from the command line yet…

  1. Install MadMax, then to start plotting with it…you simply…

  2. Open 1 or more Powershell window (type “Powershell” in Win10 search) and select

  3. CD each PS windows to your MadMax directory, so >
    cd C:\Users\username\Downloads\PlotManager-madmax43v3r\chia_ploter

  4. Run a MadMax command (modify for your configuration, but something like) .\chia_plot.exe -n 10 -r 16 -u 256 -v 256 -t R:\ -d X:\ -f xxxxx -c xxxxx … press (enter)

Wham, your plotting. How is that hard? I save my two commands (to CD & to run) commands in a text file and copy/paste them as needed.

Next, if he’s running MM a good 1tb or maybe two 1tb SSDs is all that’s needed, why waste $$$ on a 2tb anything, and esp. if using MM?? And I have never, ever EVER heard that a MM is or has actually proven ‘wonky’… not once. And I’ve run x50 plot check on many of mine, all pass with flying colors. Why would you need to recheck every week? Only if you have a bad disk in the mix, I would imagine.

Pools are a choice, whatever, I wouldn’t touch one, I’m patient, I want all my XCH to myself.
32GB memory is a good choice, 16GB may be just shy of what’s needed.

Never fear Fastskiguy your Chia plotting days will be great however you go about it.


If you farm on your own, good luck. There is not enough luck to go around the world to make it profitable as a solo farmer. Pools are the whales. Find one that fits you and your partials will add up. Simple math. The 100TiB gets you seven coins a year, no luck with a pool. On your own, even with luck, I have friends in this since day one with 500 TiB and have not one one coin. You will hear more stories like this. Yes, there are some lucky people, but the majority are very unlucky due to the whales. Good luck!

1 Like

Yeah I’m in with a pool and that is going just fine, no problems on that front. Thanks :slight_smile:

This is what I’ve got…

How do I know if this would be good for plotting? I like your idea of moving my OS to the sata SSD I’ve got and using the m.2 SSD for plotting for a cheap option :slight_smile:

And also…

This would be easy for me to add…but…what am I looking for as far as the m.2 SSD to make it good for plotting?

As for some of the stuff…they kinda lost me at “powershell” LOL. Thank you guys for the comments :slight_smile:

Oops, actually…I’ve farmed 0.015 chia so far LOL. Pesky decimal points…

It did kinda seem too easy there for a sec :wink:


1 Like

Your CPU supports only PCIe 3, so no point to spend extra on PCIe 4 NVMes (yes, it has better endurance, but you will most likely not reach either one limit). I am using Samsung 970 evo plus, and I can recommend that one.

Although, check your motherboard, as it may have NVMe supported slot.

By asking here :joy: The only way to know for sure if a drive is good for plotting is to hear from others that have already tried.

This m.2 has SATA interface, not NVME. So basically it is just as slow as the 2.5" one, just uses a different connector.

You want an nvme ssd, with high sustained write speed (this speed is not listed on any spec sheets, you have to check reviews that test it, tomshardware usualy includes it.
Then there is TBW, the higher this is, the more writes(=more plots) it can take before it starts to die. But experience so far shows that most drives can go over 2x their rated use at least, so no need to worry about this too much.

My favorite budget option: WD Black SN750 1TB
Other very good option is samsung 980 pro 1TB,
There’s plenty of others but I can’t think of them off the top of my head.
You want to go with 1TB models, they have better write performance than 500GB and also higher TBW
PCIe gen 3 or 4 doesn’t matter at all.

If you use the original plotter, you want to make a few plots at the same time.
If you use Madmax, you do 1 plot at a time.

I have been on a similar journey.

I have an old slow laptop which I use for Farming - I can plot on it - but it takes ~12hrs per plot - I occasionally use that to slowly fill up gaps on hard drives.

I started using my desktop PC to do faster plots - I have an SSD, but like you not enough memory to make a big enough RAM drive. I was getting 2.5 hr plots, which is good, but to jump to the next level I would have needed fast SSD drives and loads of memory - which costs loads of money - and would make you PC run really slow while plotting and will slowly wear out the SSD.

So I now have an old server in the garage - you can pick these up for ~200GBP on ebay for a server that can do plots in 1 hr. Now when ever I have some spare cash I buy a new hard drive - connect to the server - run it for a few days - turn off the server and move the disk to my farmer.

Servers are noisy and hot and expensive to run, but as I am only using for a few days a month it is fine.

The server in the garage is only running madmax - so I don’t have my Private keys anywhere near it.

This means my actual PC is always available for work/ games.

Obviously you need the room to have a server ideally away from you normal living space - but I am sure it is the budget option for cheap fast plotting - I have rambled on about the speeds here : Proliant DL380 g6 Server slow plotting - #24 by teeboy

This is simply untrue.
With chia multiple ppl can get the 2 xch reward that is given each block.
So you’re not competing against whales, but working alongside with equal chance.
Yes they win more as they have more plots, but that doesn’t stop the little guy getting rewards.

1 Like

So, do you know anyone with less than 100 TiB that has won 4-6 blocks? I do not. That is my point, the pools are always winning (larger ones) so your storage is always winning Solo, is 100% blind luck. Your pool basically takes the blind luck away. If little guys get rewarded, awesome. I have had a 100 TiB frm since day one and have not won anything solo. I’m now up to 1.10 XCH with pools. I just make sure it is updated, no errors and it is just printing up close to $4 a day at the current price of XCH. The higher the price, the higher the daily will be as well.

Pools do not take ‘blind luck’ away. When you join, you are giving the pool, your ‘blind luck’. The meager pool rewards you get from them are merely others sharing (your+) theirblind luck’. It costs them to share with you, so they don’t get the total advantage of their own ‘blind luck’ that came to their plots in the pool.

Bottom line, your rewards = share of yours and everyone else ‘blind luck’ less whatever pool fees.

1 Like