There are as many farming setups and opinions on farming setups as there are farms, and this is true in traditional farming as well as Chia farming. Most people seem to be gravitating to one of two paradigms, high powered systems with lots of compute, ram and NVME storage for plotting as fast as possible trying to outpace the netspace growth. Or those trying to plot with existing hardware and using something extremely low powered like a Raspberry Pi4 to handle the farming.
Each of these approaches has its pros and cons, with cost and possible reward being the main ones. The fast plotting machine will get more plots out there quicker, with a greater chance of pulling early coins from their setup. However, this comes at the cost of initial investment and relatively higher long term power usage. The low power minimal farmer has the advantage of extremely low cost outlay so it will not take much to get profitable but they are unlikely to do so right away.
My approach was closer to the former, with my goal of getting all my plots completed in 3 weeks. I was a little behind schedule due to my math not accounting for the high lead time to get back to max plotting speed when you do maintenance. But I have completed all my plots and currently sit at 475 plots – 473 K32 and 2 K33.
My system specs are as follows, and I will discuss my thoughts on my choices shortly.
My main bottleneck is memory, but RAM is expensive right now and 32GB would only have helped the plotting process which is going ahead as fast as I would like. The system generates between 24 and 28 plots per day which will be fine as I get back into portable plots, however not if I am running my fork virtual machines. Therefore RAM is going to be the next upgrade.
I chose Rocket Lake because due to the nature of the workload I assumed at some point AVX512 would make a difference. I could be wrong, but for the price it was a great deal for plotting. This was all before the Mad Max plotter and before I really knew what I was doing. Would I make the same choices now? Maybe. But probably not.
I didn’t want to spend too much on storage without having any idea about the price volatility and I think I was correct. My goal was to accumulate 50 XCH over 5 years. I no longer think that is even close to realistic, but I do think that I will completely recoup the investment and that the farm will be profitable, depending of course on netspace growth or slowdown.