Chia farming can reportedly ruin a 512GB SSD in 40 days

midian182

Posts: 6,786   +61
Staff member
Why it matters: New cryptocurrency Chia positions itself as an eco-friendly alternative to Bitcoin—which uses more energy each year than the whole of Sweden—thanks to its use of storage space rather than computing power. But its green-friendly credentials are looking shaky. Not only are we starting to see signs of HDD and SSD shortages, but it also vastly reduces the lifespan of these drives.

To recap, Chia uses a 'proof of space and time' model instead of 'proof of work' (Bitcoin) or 'proof of stake' (Etherium 2.0), which essentially means farmers—it prefers the term to mining/miners—can earn the currency by allocating their unused disk space.

While manufacturers are already experiencing a boost in sales, some, including Galax, advise buyers that using their products to farm Chia will void the warranties. Now, a new report reveals why.

According to Chinese site Fast Technology (via Hardware Times), constantly farming Chia on a 512GB SSD, which usually lasts anywhere from five to ten years, can reduce its life to just 40 days—the result of writing 256TB of data during that time.

Drives with more storage space last longer, but the wear and tear still significantly reduces their lifespans: a 1TB SSD lasts around 80 days, while Chia farming will kill a 2TB SSD in 160 days. While the make and model of these drives aren't specified, the report illustrates how quickly they can be worn out.

Chia's price since launching last week (CoinMarketCap)

The low price of SSDs means Chia framers could simply throw away their worn-out drives and buy new ones, which isn't exactly good for the environment. Alternatively, they could purchase an "ultra durable" NVMe SSD from TeamGroup designed for mining/farming crypto. It comes with a 12,000 TBW (terabytes written) endurance level and a 12-year warranty, but the $800 price (2TB model) is likely to put people off.

Chia hasn't had the best of times since it launched last Monday. XCH peaked at $1,800 per unit when it debuted but fell to around $600 a few days later. It has rebounded slightly and is now hovering around $1,100.

Image credit: P_galasso2289

Permalink to story.

 

joseph mcfadden

Posts: 10   +24
Let aaaaalllll be completely honest with ourselves; ALL crypto "mining" - dont care what kind - has absolutely NOTHING to do with ANYTHING any of the "creators" of these things say it does. nothing to do with efficiency, being "green", security, etc etc etc.

there is only ONE point to ALL crypto and its the SAME reasoning that has been around for 1000's of years; "I want to make a lot of money for no effort"

people want to find a way to make cash without an education or training or any effort at all. its just another get-rich-quick scheme - and if you belong to a "pool" its a pyramid scheme where the pool owner simply gets as many people to join his pool as possible, skimming a little bit off each person, and just sits back and does nothing.

dont really care what anyone's rebuttal to this is - justify it however you want to sleep better at night - it doesn't change what it really is all about.
 
These articles fail to mention that SSD's are only used to create Chia plots, the plots themselves are read only operations when farming Chia and will last years. Also, there is no requirement to create plots via an SSD, it's faster yes, but a similar rate of plots/day could be accomplished on slower disks with enough parallel processes. I personally plotted 1PB across multiple 2TB SSD's (cheap consumer Inland Premiums) with zero failures. Clickbait FUD article missing the point/research.
 

terzaerian

Posts: 913   +1,304
there is only ONE point to ALL crypto and its the SAME reasoning that has been around for 1000's of years; "I want to make a lot of money for no effort"
Have you ever heard of the maxim "work smarter, not harder"?

And for the usual cranks, let me repeat this again: Chia is a crypto that supports a cloud storage network. The only difference between it and something like Dropbox and Mega is that farmers are the ones providing and being rewarded for the storage, and the only reason you're opposed to it is because it also involves "crypto," which media have trained you to hate.

It comes with a 12,000 TBW (terabytes written) endurance level and a 12-year warranty, but the $800 price (2TB model) is likely to put people off.
An $800 SSD is still a fair sight cheaper than a graphics card right now, however.
 

Dimitriid

Posts: 542   +933
Wait: can you even get ROI on just 40 days, or even 80? Unless you get some exceptional deals or this coin is paying up really well I kind of doubt it: You might make a bit of cash beyond initial expense but it seems to be almost a recycling center for storage that well, doesn't recycles and just disposes it while making a tiny bit of cash in the process.
 

Cycloid Torus

Posts: 4,747   +1,547
I'm looking forward to the coming crypto alternatives. The one I should like to see is the one based on the air inside this balloon - just squeeze another breath into it...
 

terzaerian

Posts: 913   +1,304
Wait: can you even get ROI on just 40 days, or even 80? Unless you get some exceptional deals or this coin is paying up really well I kind of doubt it: You might make a bit of cash beyond initial expense but it seems to be almost a recycling center for storage that well, doesn't recycles and just disposes it while making a tiny bit of cash in the process.
Conversely if you have some old drives lying around you're able to monetize that resource in a way you couldn't before.

The bittorrent app is a mostly adware spam, so that makes sense.
Did you get lost on the way to Xbox Live or Gamefaqs?
 

hwertz

Posts: 33   +17
I did this; I bought a cheap and crappy $20 SSD, ran it hard (not for Chia though!) and it croaked out in under 2 months. Luckily was using it as an additional drive and not a main boot or /home drive. Spinning rust FTW, my HDDs have generally lasted at least 10 years.
 

Avro Arrow

Posts: 1,256   +1,386
TechSpot Elite
Sounds like a case for the continued existence of spinning platter drives. Mind you, I just bought THREE 512GB microSD cards for $36CAD. A blown-out microSD isn't exactly a lot of e-waste.
 

Avro Arrow

Posts: 1,256   +1,386
TechSpot Elite
Let aaaaalllll be completely honest with ourselves; ALL crypto "mining" - dont care what kind - has absolutely NOTHING to do with ANYTHING any of the "creators" of these things say it does. nothing to do with efficiency, being "green", security, etc etc etc.

there is only ONE point to ALL crypto and its the SAME reasoning that has been around for 1000's of years; "I want to make a lot of money for no effort"

people want to find a way to make cash without an education or training or any effort at all. its just another get-rich-quick scheme - and if you belong to a "pool" its a pyramid scheme where the pool owner simply gets as many people to join his pool as possible, skimming a little bit off each person, and just sits back and does nothing.

dont really care what anyone's rebuttal to this is - justify it however you want to sleep better at night - it doesn't change what it really is all about.
Yup, it's the ultimate Ponzi scheme.
 

Avro Arrow

Posts: 1,256   +1,386
TechSpot Elite
Conversely if you have some old drives lying around you're able to monetize that resource in a way you couldn't before.
Yeah, I got a few of those. The only question is, if the drive fails, do you lose what you've "earned"?

Another possibility is using microSD cards as Chia drives. They're pretty cheap at the 512GB size-point and don't generate a lot of e-waste.
 

Inthenstus

Posts: 30   +33
TechSpot Elite
Wait: can you even get ROI on just 40 days, or even 80? Unless you get some exceptional deals or this coin is paying up really well I kind of doubt it: You might make a bit of cash beyond initial expense but it seems to be almost a recycling center for storage that well, doesn't recycles and just disposes it while making a tiny bit of cash in the process.

Yes, I’ve made $4,400 is less then that time period with existing hardware and $1,000 worth of drives.
 

terzaerian

Posts: 913   +1,304
Yeah, I got a few of those. The only question is, if the drive fails, do you lose what you've "earned"?

Another possibility is using microSD cards as Chia drives. They're pretty cheap at the 512GB size-point and don't generate a lot of e-waste.
My educated guess, as I haven't (yet) personally set up a Chia farm, is that you're generally getting paid more for plotting (data writes) vs farming (data reads), and that anything that's been plotted has some redundancy elsewhere. Most likely, those using Chia to store data factor in the amount of redundancy as part of their cost for paying for the service. Someone more familiar correct me if I'm wrong, of course.
 

Avro Arrow

Posts: 1,256   +1,386
TechSpot Elite
My educated guess, as I haven't (yet) personally set up a Chia farm, is that you're generally getting paid more for plotting (data writes) vs farming (data reads), and that anything that's been plotted has some redundancy elsewhere. Most likely, those using Chia to store data factor in the amount of redundancy as part of their cost for paying for the service. Someone more familiar correct me if I'm wrong, of course.
Well that's all good then. I have two 512GB microSD cards that came with USB adapters. Just like all other forms of memory, microSD cards are made by Samsung, Hynix or Micron, regardless of what's on the vendor's label.