Hard drive crypto mining

SSD will only finish the initial plotting process faster, but the mining will still be the same. Also, SSDs have a much shorter service life than hard disk drives, while each gigabyte will have a higher cost.

Cryptocurrencies for Hard Drive Mining

Burst

Burst is a proof-of-capacity crypto that can be mined using a set of HDDs with a large capacity. High-performance mining can be ensured by using a higher number of HDDs which, as a result, will produce more mining rewards.

Sia

Sia is a blockchain-based cloud storage platform that offers similar services to Dropbox, Amazon, Apple, and Microsoft cloud storage services.Sia users are able to rent out their free HDD space to other users, and what files they store are encrypted in the system.

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This type of mining involves the use of hard disk drives instead of hardware rigs.

Another difference for the hard drive mining is in its setup and maintenance. Setting up an HDD mining rig requires a set of different principles if we go and compare them to regular mining farms.

The prerequisites for creating an HDD farm are:

⦁ hard disk drives;

⦁ a computer;

⦁ display (monitor);

⦁ auxiliary devices (keyboard and mouse).

As the generation process is less memory intensive, it does not require a GPU or central processor unit (CPU) like with other cryptos.

The productivity of hard drive mining relies on the memory and performance of the hard disk.

Mining Protocols

Blockchains rely on protocols to coordinate the mining process.

What’s chia, and why is it eating all the hard drives?

This is why you cannot mine Bitcoin with the same computer you would mine Dogecoin, even though they are both PoW coins.

Proof of Stake

Proof of Stake releases new coins to users via staking, which requires users to hold their coins in active wallets. Users are rewarded for keeping their coins in their wallets with new ones.
This mining method does not require powerful computational power like PoW, but stakers are required to keep their computer on during the staking process.

Proof of Capacity

Proof of Capacity is a consensus algorithm used by a number of blockchains to verify transactions. PoC is also a less memory-intensive algorithm, as it can mine new coins using hard drives and storage.

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But unlike PoC, this protocol makes use of the free memory space for decentralized cloud storage instead of block generation.

The free hard drive space is rented to other users, and the owners can mine by using the resources of the blockchain. The mining rewards are actually the crypto collected as monthly payments from renting the free disk space.

The Mechanism of Hard Drive Mining

Step 1: Plotting

Using the hard disk drive, the miners are able to pre-generating data blocks or plots.

This initial process is known as plotting. Plotting is only initiated once when you start mining. It will require more time compared to GPU mining.

Step 2: Assigning the mining rewards

Now the miners have to set who will receive a reward for generating new data blocks.
If you mine on your own, you assign the reward to your wallet.

PCI slots; ⦁ you do not have to purchase expensive GPUs or ASICs; ⦁ software installation and configuration is simple; ⦁ no hardware setup process; ⦁ HDDs require less energy to process new blocks than other mining hardware; ⦁ less heat and, therefore, no need for cooling devices to keep the equipment temperature stable.

Disadvantages of hard drive mining:

⦁ second-hand hard disk drives are not easy to find; ⦁ HDDs have a lifecycle of around 10,000 hours; ⦁ the mining process takes more time to mine the same amount of coins you would mine with GPUs; ⦁ you mine fewer coins than you would with GPUs.

Why not Use SSD?

Some might think that using a solid-state drive (SSDs) might speed up the data block generation process, but the performance of the storage device doesn’t influence the reward of hard drive mining.

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At this point the average Hackaday reader is likely familiar with so-called “Proof of Work” (PoW) cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Dogecoin. In the most basic of terms, these cryptocurrencies allow users to earn money by devoting computational power to the network.
Unfortunately, it’s well past the point where your standard desktop CPU is moving enough bits to earn anything worthwhile. Individuals looking to turn a profit have therefore resorted to constructing arrays of high-end graphics cards for the express purpose of “mining” their cryptocurrency of choice.

These miners, combined with ongoing chip shortages, have ravaged the GPU market.
Anyone who’s looked at building or upgrading a computer recently will know that new video cards are in short supply, and even old models that would otherwise be considered budget options, are commanding outrageous prices.

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To get around this farmers have taken to creating their plots on smaller SSDs, and then moving them over to higher capacity enterprise drives for long-term storage once they’re done. In such a configuration the SSDs are considered an expendable resource, with some reports claiming it takes as little as a few weeks to burn through a standard consumer drive.

The demand for drives is real.
A representative from Seagate recently confirmed the manufacturer was exploring the idea of Chia-specific drives, but didn’t elaborate on what that would entail. Though given how little impact NVIDIA’s attempts to curb miners have had, it’s hard to imagine it would change much.

If you missed it

Created by BitTorrent developer Bram Cohen, the documentation for Chia leans heavily into the idea that it’s the “green” alternative to Bitcoin, requiring neither a high-performance computer nor any equipment that couldn’t be readily reused if you were no longer interested in Chia. As explained in their FAQ, nothing stops you from deleting the Chia data from your drives and using them for regular file storage.

At least on paper, Chia certainly seems like the more eco-friendly option.

Consider that a modern high-end video card like the GeForce RTX 3080 can easily pull more than 300 watts when running at full tilt, while even the most power hungry SSDs top out at 8 watts. Of course that doesn’t take into account the cost of the hardware, or the relative value of each resource as measured by their respective cryptocurrencies.

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The mining involves miners competing to find the solution, and whoever manages to find it first gets to mine the next block.

As a means of this proof, miners share their free disk space in order to create new mining blocks and receive a mining reward.

Proof-of-Storage

Proof-of-Storage, also known as proof-of-space or PoS, uses free disk space like PoC, but this protocol uses the free memory space to create decentralized cloud storage instead of generating new blocks. In this storage system, users rent their HDD space to other users, and disk space owners are able to mine cryptocurrency using the blockchain’s resources.

Unlike PoC blockchains, PoS blockchains give out cryptocurrency mining rewards by using the monthly payments received from space renting services.

You just might get faster writing with enterprise drives like Intel DC P4610 but the price is not worth it for home plotting unless you scale to really bigger numbers.

Things you might need:

  • SSD to PCIe adapter
  • USB to SSD – Sabrent USB 3.2 Type-C Tool-Free Enclosure

One of the benefits of that is it’s designed for constant reading rights and it has a much longer life expectancy. So if you plan on doing petabytes or just a ton of storage, then you might want to consider an enterprise drive.

But overall, the SSDs are pretty cheap compared to the destination drives.

And then finally, there’s going to be a little bit of some changes to that chia build overall. Chia has recently updated, which allows more plots in parallel for the same storage and the same ram.

Don’t overthink it.

Today we’re going to talk about the best hard drives for Chia (XCH) plotting and farming. So, the ultimate goal is to have plots on a hard drive, as much as you can to farm.

Because of that, you’re going to need a lot of HDD storage and your goal is to get as much capacity as possible.

The plotting aspect is to get the fastest drives as possible (SSD) with the appropriate amount of storage. Those are just temporary drives that create plots and move them to storage.

The end result will ultimately end up on a hard drive with a higher capacity. More details on the mining rig specs for plotting – here.

As for the storage drive, high-capacity hard drives (like 16TB drives) are going to be better in the long run because it’s less maintenance and less power used and ultimately just gives you more capacity per computer per hard drive slot.

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