storage gold rush?

alex_stief

Well-Known Member
May 31, 2016
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This guy did some tests with chia mining. I can't tell how realistic or useful these tests are though.
At least it crushed my dreams of using a RAMDisk instead of SSDs, the largest machine I have only has 1TB of RAM :(
 

tinfoil3d

QSFP28
May 11, 2020
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Show that to your average newbie miner and they'll run to buy ssds. Even if they manage to find some and buy some they'll open up that calculator and would be amazed to see they can earn money now. The problem is that's the space allocated is growing very fast and so the possibility of winning for a new miner is as high as seeing UFO. We'll get a report on that later this year, while hamsters will be waiting for their coins. They may get some, after the bubble pops though.
 

Rand__

Well-Known Member
Mar 6, 2014
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There are many small miners that report to have gotten some ... its a matter of statistics (probability)... You may luck out or you may not...
 

lowfat

Active Member
Nov 25, 2016
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This guy did some tests with chia mining. I can't tell how realistic or useful these tests are though.
At least it crushed my dreams of using a RAMDisk instead of SSDs, the largest machine I have only has 1TB of RAM :(
You could still run like 3 or so plots at a time w/ 1TB of ram.
 

NateS

Active Member
Apr 19, 2021
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Sacramento, CA, US
You could still run like 3 or so plots at a time w/ 1TB of ram.
The problem is that ram doesn't really give much speedup over a fast SSD, as you quickly become CPU limited, so the extra expense isn't really worth it. It's like ~4 hrs/plot with a ramdisk vs ~5 hrs/plot on a good NVMe SSD, and you can do a whole lot more in parallel on SSDs than on ram.
 

NateS

Active Member
Apr 19, 2021
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Sacramento, CA, US
NateS i believe lowfat was just kidding. Ever researched how much 1TB of ram would cost?
He may have been kidding, but unfortunately over on r/chia there are a lot of people with more money than technical knowhow considering exactly that until someone fills them in. Just in case anyone in a similar situation runs across this post, I wanted to mention here as well why that's not a good idea.
 

tinfoil3d

QSFP28
May 11, 2020
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Are they? I mean, using RAM as ramdisk requires linux and some knowledge, no? And it's just so much more expensive than ssd anyway.
 

NateS

Active Member
Apr 19, 2021
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Sacramento, CA, US
True, but I think that's more due to the industry-wide supply chain issues than anything Chia-related. I think it would likely be much worse if Chia needed ram the same way it needs hard drives and SSDs. I could be wrong though; maybe there's already some foolish Chia whale out there throwing all their money into plotting on ramdisks, even though that's a terrible ROI.
 

EffrafaxOfWug

Radioactive Member
Feb 12, 2015
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NateS i believe lowfat was just kidding. Ever researched how much 1TB of ram would cost?
It's not beyond the dreams of avarice - I'm sure there'll be at least a handful of people here with 1TB servers at home. 64GB RDIMMs run at about £300 each here, so worst case buying retail you're looking at £5000 - and if you're getting through a reseller or using s/h ex-enterprise gear, possibly half that.

(A company a friend worked for just unloaded a boatload of such 64GB DIMMs relatively cheaply since they'd just upgraded their Epyc boxes from 2666MHz to 3200MHz memory which made a sizeable difference to their workload)

Are they? I mean, using RAM as ramdisk requires linux and some knowledge, no? And it's just so much more expensive than ssd anyway.
ramdisks on linux are dead easy (either using tmpfs for a ready-made filesystem, or the brd kernel module if you need a block device for whatever reason) and there's certainly plenty of utils on windows to allow them as well. I've got no idea what the access patterns of chia are like or what "work" it's actually doing - the number of people saying people are using big fat arrays of platters suggests to me IO speed isn't of prime importance - but if you've got 1TB of RAM lying unused and you wanted to hop on this particular bandwagon to the bottom, at least you wouldn't need to thrash your SSDs to shreds in the process.

Edit: Now it comes to be mentioned, I'm wondering if tmpfs might be the ideal use case for the sort of thing where you need a huge filesystem with as much in RAM as possible, backed by some very fast NVME drives as striped swap; it'd allow you to have a very large formatted area backed by as much NVME as you could throw at it. No idea if that's the sort of thing that would be good for chia though (but might certainly be good for things like scratch databases).
 
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amalurk

Active Member
Dec 16, 2016
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Just roughing it, 2TB P3600 is rated for like ~11pbw, so 11000tbw at 1.2tbw/per plot is 9166 plots that are 100gb plot files which I am rounding to 1 petabytes of plot files. So if 64gg dimms are $300 you need 32 of them or $9,600 worth. There are 2TB P3600s for $500 on ebay right now. So you could buy about 19 of them for cost of 2TB RAM. So, unless you have plans to make more than 19 Petabytes of plots files, you are better off buying the SSD.

This does not consider though that you could resell the RAM but not the SSDs without a steep discount. Still though I don't think RAMdisks make sense unless your ambitions are huge. Also you can have multiple SSDs in one high core count computer to run more plots in parallel on a single system than a RAMdisk and plots per day is the important metric not whether a RAMdisk creates them a little faster,. Also, your cost of the supporting hardware, cpus, chassis, electricity etc... per plot created are much lower with SSDs from being able to stick multiple in each system and running more plots per parallel on the same system than a RAMdisk.

But yeah burning out SSDs sucks but it will probably be a much better return than a bunch of RAMdisk systems.

If I fudged the math I am sure someone will point it out.
 

Layla

Game Engine Developer
Jun 21, 2016
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Just roughing it, 2TB P3600 is rated for like ~11pbw, so 11000tbw at 1.2tbw/per plot is 9166 plots that are 100gb plot files which I am rounding to 1 petabytes of plot files. So if 64gg dimms are $300 you need 32 of them or $9,600 worth. There are 2TB P3600s for $500 on ebay right now. So you could buy about 19 of them for cost of 2TB RAM. So, unless you have plans to make more than 19 Petabytes of plots files, you are better off buying the SSD.

This does not consider though that you could resell the RAM but not the SSDs without a steep discount. Still though I don't think RAMdisks make sense unless your ambitions are huge. Also you can have multiple SSDs in one high core count computer to run more plots in parallel on a single system than a RAMdisk and plots per day is the important metric not whether a RAMdisk creates them a little faster,. Also, your cost of the supporting hardware, cpus, chassis, electricity etc... per plot created are much lower with SSDs from being able to stick multiple in each system and running more plots per parallel on the same system than a RAMdisk.

But yeah burning out SSDs sucks but it will probably be a much better return than a bunch of RAMdisk systems.

If I fudged the math I am sure someone will point it out.
Destroying something of real value (SSDs can't really be recycled) to make money means you suck as a person. Screw all people burning out SSDs on Chia to greedily make a buck.
 

Layla

Game Engine Developer
Jun 21, 2016
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Destroying something of real value (SSDs can't really be recycled) to make money means you suck as a person. Screw all people burning out SSDs on Chia to greedily make a buck.
I get that writing to SSDs destroys them, so using them for business is also slowly destroying them to make a buck in a literal interpretation - but they last years to decades in this case, and businesses use them to create other real-world value. e.g. Building things in the real world that people use. Chia farmers are using them to create no value - just to prop up another speculative pyramid scheme.

If that weren't the case, then they'd use HDDs and not be obsessed with racing to plot as fast as possible.
 

amalurk

Active Member
Dec 16, 2016
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Destroying something of real value (SSDs can't really be recycled) to make money means you suck as a person. Screw all people burning out SSDs on Chia to greedily make a buck.
Is it any different/better/worse than using tons of electricity that comes from burning oil or horribly sooty coal to power bitcoin miners and the pollution that comes with it that statistically causes many deaths per year?