The Christmas holidays are barely over and we will continue our journey. Today it’s Rolle Royce’ time to shine. The first farmer we see to have upgraded his internal networking to 10gbit/s 🚀
This post is part of an article series about your farming setups.
If you have an interesting setup and want to have some internet fame please ping @speedmann#6896 on discord or let me know in one of the official channels that you are interested. (Editor’s note: You can also contact the site or by email [email protected] and Speedmann will get it) We also now have a form which you can fill in.
Who are you? Some background about yourself please
Retired computer consultant and networking small business owner for 33 yrs. Specialty of upgrading clients with SSDs, fast networking, and integration of 3rd party line-of-business applications.
Why farm Chia?
Given Bitcoin’s rise, I decided it was time to get onboard and learn more about crypto. Chia seems approachable, considering my background, and more “fun” for a techie, than simply trading the odd crypto currency that was making instant millionaires of many. I had just upgraded to a DIY Ryzen 3600 PC, and figured that could be the heart of my new farming hobby.
What hardware are you using?
Currently, that Ryzen PC I started with has become my dedicated farmer PC. Perhaps a bit of overkill for that task, but it has weathered all ‘storms‘ presented to the Chia ecosystem thus far with ease. It is also my go-to system for email, browsing, the stock market, and general contact with the outside world. So it has become a true multi-purpose computing system.
Although I tried plotting on the Ryzen to start, and did so for some time early on, it was too slow to get plots up and farmed quickly. Upgrading attempts met with the inherent limitations of consumer grade AMD B550 Motherboards. In particular, the lack of sufficient PCI-E 4.0 lanes, or really, enough PCI-E lanes in general.
Fortunately, I found new Lenovo AMD ThreadRipper Pro 3955WX Workstations were available on EBay, and at decent prices! With a bit of configuring and some added memory and SSDs, plus the introduction of MadMax, my plotting went into overdrive. From the original Ryzen’s 10-12 plots/day, ThreadRipper prepared 60-65 plots/day with ease, and still does currently.
Presently, I have a majority of external HDs, but now am favoring internals. Although I started with 12TB, 14TB, and 16TB drives, I’m now exclusively buying only 18TB drives to minimize hardware energy use and space.
Do you have a special networking/distributed farming setup?
Conveniently, our city recently instituted its own 1Gb fiber internet service. Internally, I upgraded my 1Gb network speed to 2.5Gb, and then 10Gb to help in file transfer between systems.
Given the chance to start over in march again, what would you do different?
Probably not much. When I purchased my Ryzen, crypto farming was not on my radar. Only after a bit of a learning curve on Chia and it’s continued development, was I able to decide what was required to best accomplish what I wanted.
Perhaps if I’d been aware of the Chia testnet earlier, I could have got started earlier, but, “Oh well.”
Are you pooling or solo farming?
Self pooling only. Why share my XCH when I can keep it all? Plus pooling opens security issues I’d prefer to avoid.
I prefer to limit potential risks. Anyone can make a pool, and there can be bad actors, plus credentials and some rewards must be shared. I enjoy managing my own node & farm, and I’m also patient waiting for rewards, so not pooling is a good fit. (editor’s note: you should never share your credentials or keys with a pool, or anybody, and the NFT pooling protocol developed by Chia does not require this)
How much did you invest in your setup?
Something north of $10K at present and at this point, I hesitate to do a full accounting as then I’d know exactly lolz.
How time consuming is running your farm? Do you have monitoring?
I use the Chia GUI on Windows 10, with ‘Farmr‘ as an additional tool I found immensely useful for monitoring performance and eliminating bottlenecks in my setup. The whole process from plotting to farming is now second nature, so there is not much time involved, except watching how it’s all going, reading discussions on various forums, and dreaming up ways to condense my farm’s footprint and energy use, while maintaining/increasing its size. Currently, it is all sitting right next to me, quietly farming away.
How profitable is your farming setup?
Let’s say it’s a profitable dream, or a potential profitable enterprise, lolz. Maybe next year, or whenever the XCH price goes up, and/or I get more XCH rewards, it could be. But it’s looking like years at this point!
What are your plans for the future? Will you keep farming?
I keep saying I’m done plotting, and will just farm what I have. But I feel a bit depressed and empty when plotting ends, with no new drives to fill. This ‘plotting withdrawal’ brings about the urge to find yet another good deal in drives somewhere online, and I can’t resist.
I’m at 420TiB of plots presently, and 72TiB of new drives on the way. I’ll certainly stop at .5 PiB though!
Anything else you would like to add?
There is a good measure of ‘faith’ in the Chia project vs. rewards at present. With the XCH price dropping, rewards getting harder to come by, and blockchain development in its early stages, one must consider the future over the present to stay enthused with this type of investment. Go Chia!