Is SATA 2.0 ok for Chia Farming?


I currently am invested in a build that doesn’t have a lot of SATA 3.0 ports with the MSI X79-A GD65 (8D) Motherboard. I am not sure if running at SATA 2.0 speeds will cause any issues in the long run (i.e. like not earning any Chia, plotting errors, etc.)

I am in a bit of a conundrum with my Chia farming setup and not sure if it will be adequate. I have a MSI X79A-GD65 (8D) motherboard lying around for the past decade that I didn’t bother to use. I tested it and it is still in working condition. I am wondering if my motherboard is still viable for chia farming, because the issue is - there’s limited SATA 3.0 ports on the board. I am not sure if its worth it to plot HDDs on SATA 2.0 ports, or if it will cause any issues or errors in the long run?

For reference, here is the table for PCI-E speeds

SATA 2.0 is only capped at 3Gb/s, SATA 3.0 is 6Gb/s

This board has 6 SATA Ports:

SATA 1&2 are powered by Intel X79, SATA 3.0 ports

SATA 3-6 are powered by Intel X79 but are only SATA 2.0 ports

SATA 7&8 are SATA 3.0 Ports but are powered by ASM1061. I have never heard of that yet, but I noticed that when I plugged in my hard drives, they show up as “Removable USBs” in Windows 10

This board also has 3x PCI-E 3.0 slots, 2x PCI-E 2.0 slots and 1x PCI-E 2.0 Slot.

Should I get a PCI-E to SATA Expansion card instead so that I can avoid using SATA ports 3-8 and then plug it into the PCI-E 3.0 lane? Typical PCI-E to SATA Expansion cards that I see are usually 4x lanes, so does that mean I would only be able to get 4 Gb/s out of it instead of the full 6 Gb/s which SATA 3 is spec’ed at? Is the speed difference detrimental?

Also I have heard of SAS Expansion cards but I am not familiar with them, would these help in my case?

I haven’t started plotting yet, I only Installed Windows 10 to check if the SSD is working and all the drives are detected and thankfully, all of them work.

I have the following hardware:

Motherboard: MSI X79A-GD65 (8D)

RAM: 8x sticks of DDR3 (64GB Total) Kingston HyperX 1600MHz

CPU: Intel i7-3820 (Is it worth upgrading the CPU to an Intel i7 4960x? to increase number of cores 4 to 6).

SSD/Boot Drive: Intel D3-S4610 (1.92TB) SATA 3 6Gb/s, it has a very high rating of 9.4 PBW

Storage: Several 12TB HDDs

Case: NZXT H440 (I am planning to get a larger case as well that can support more HDDs).

PSU: Seasonic SSR1000-PD (1000W)

Any advice would be appreciated, any recommended parts to go for, I would also consider taking a look.

Farming from sata 2.0 is no problem.
I’m using a Msi p31 Neo board with 6x sata 2.0, works fine

For plotting your system will be slow and take a long time to fill up a single 12TB hard drive. I would think something like 7-14 days or so? But that has nothing to do with the sata speed, but more with the memory and cpu.

Yes Windows detects drives as removable if they are connected via a separate sata-controller.

Upgrading to a better cpu depends a lot on the price it would cost,


Ok good to know.
I think it is better to avoid connecting the drives to the SATA 3.0 ports that are powered by ASM1061.
I will just re-allocate them to the SATA 2.0 ports instead.

I am not sure what factor affects plotting speed the most - Is it number of cores? Base Frequency of CPU?

Is 8 core CPU really a standard for plotting?
My Intel i7-3820 only has 4 cores but has a base speed of 3.6 Ghz

I Am thinking of getting an Intel 4960x to upgrade it from 4 cores to 6 cores.

Or at this point, is it worth all the cost just to get a modern motherboard with a Ryzen 9 3900x/5900x just to plot faster?

combination of both, but I would say no of cores matters a bit more.

The best cost/performance are (old) servers with dual Xeon, you can check the old server thread here on the forum.
I would not be investing in new high end hardware at this point unless you can also use it for something else.

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Actually I look at the support list of my motherboard, it supports Xeon processors!

For example: The Intel Xeon E5-2697V2 CPU has 12 Cores, 24 Threads - much like a Ryzen 9 5900x that I have right now

I think I should go upgrade my CPU to a Xeon processor instead

Also I came across this article with regards to plotting speed in Chia:

I know the Intel Xeon E5-2697V2 is very old (2013), but based on your recommendation of Xeon processors, I think it would work…

That’s nice. That’s prolly a cheap upgrade. I’m using a 2xE5-2680v2 system myself.

P.S. most people are plotting with the madmax plotter now, check out the topics about that. It’s quite different from the article you mentioned here. Basically instead of doing many plots at the same time, it only makes one but much faster. For most people this works better in total output

P.S.2 just a word of warning, the Chia netspace is already massive so don’t expect to make much XCH anytime soon. At the moment it’s something like 0,003 XCH/day if you have 10 TB of plots

Yes that is the sad truth, but there are some people also quitting Chia right now as well partly because they think its a short term game, which in turn decreases the netspace.

I will check out on Madmax plotter. I am new to chia farming so any more advice would be appreciated :slight_smile:
Is madmax plotter for solo farming or for pool farming?

Also, I came across ther people saying that they are going to wait until the official pools from Chia come out. Is this the better course of action? They think its better that way because the unofficial pools will have some sort of problem in the long run.

From what I just search, there are some pools that require you to give you your private key which makes your wallet insecure.