Transfer plots to an efficient FARMING device?


I’ve plotted around 60tb on 10 SATA drives in a dedicated Plotting machine. The drives are connected via a SCSI card and created as a Windows Volume.

The plotting machine is too powerful for farming alone, so i was after your advice on what i can do to transfer the SATA hard drives as a windows volume to a more efficient PC or raspberry pi.

The end goal is to use as low a possible power to farm the 60TB…

Any advice appreciated.

Get a machine, pi, low end pc, set up chia on it, move your drives to that machine.

Think it might be a bit more complex if you have created a single Windows Volume on your plotting machine. Even moving that from Windows to Windows would be tense! But moving a Windows volume to Pi or Linux would be a nightmare - so if that is the case you might need to get extra disks and copy.

Let us know if in your Windows machine you have one Big 60TB volume or 10 x 6TB volumes on drives D, E, F, G…

I have found I am optimising my farm from smaller drives to larger ones, as I go along. I then sell on the smaller drives. I add a larger drive then having set this as a plot directory I use a robust copying program to move the plots from the smaller drives to the larger ones. This is easier than trying to move drives that might be formatted with different file systems, or one drive being from a machine using raid and the next machine might not.

I have switched to a less high-performance machine as my farmer and intend to switch off one processor and reduce the processor performance of this machine until it farms acceptably well, measured by response times and missed challenges, so it uses less power.

I wonder if someone will come up with an ASIC farmer, with absolute minimal power consumption? I guess as drives are always going to use a set amount of energy, reducing the energy consumption of the farming machine is only worthwhile down to a certain level.

RPi as a farmer draws ~5W, and has potentially a single digit CPU usage. What would you like to see that ASIC could do?

Also, if you go with CM4 module, you can potentially add 6-8x SATA card, pair it with SATA port multiplier (not sure if that will work), and in theory be able to run 30-40 drives with it.

I was looking to get that module, but looks like almost everyone is out of stock, and those that have it are scalpers.

Also, not sure what CPUs you have, but as you mentioned that you want to remove one, I guess you have Xeons. I would check with Intel, whether they have low power ones in that line. I swapped mine for a 16W CPU. It is still running in single digit CPU usage.

As for the asic farmer that was not a serious suggestion. I like RPi’s and have sold a few thousand model 3b’s over the last year, however, my farm is all SAS drives in disk arrays, I am not sure if there is a RPi to SAS solution as yet.

Actually, there is :slight_smile:

Again, CM4 module is needed. Jeff Geerling did a lot of work on SATA/SAS drives connected to RPi. Check out this video:

He has more videos related to SAS/SATA on his channel, so you may want to check his channel. Although, he doesn’t have a playlist dedicated to that topic :frowning:

In one of those videos, he was using Broadcom based 8x SAS/SATA controller. My (very limited) understanding is that you can pair such controller with expansion cards, and daisy chain those. Those cards are PCIe based, but most likely draw only power from such slots. If that is the case, this may be another route to get more than 8 drives connected.

The only problem is to somehow purchase that CM4 card plus the PCIe holding expansion board.


Me again,

I have sourced a couple of 18TB Sata Drives, so I am in a position to copy of the plot files from the original windows volume to the 18TB Sata drives.

Can I have some advice on how best to setup a super efficient Farming rig? What format should I set up the 18TB hard drives as? Should they be windows disks or different as now its possible to copy off all the plots and disassemble that big windows volume i have.

Should i go Raspberry pi? If so, how can i setup 4x sata drives on it for farming? Can i copy windows plots over to the 18TB disks and be recognised in Raspberry Pi?

I’m assuming you’ve calculated the savings and consider them to be significant, but in my opinion it’s probably a better idea to keep the system as is because modern computers are extremely efficient when sitting mostly idle. Considering it won’t tax any system I can’t imagine many scenarios in where the electricity costs saved will be that much more than what you will pay to configure a Pi along with the added risk introduced.

Also, even if you have a power hungry Intel or AMD Threadripper system you can always tinker around with the power settings and confirm with meters.

Edit, this is an old thread :smiley: