First it’s important to understand that there are two very different parts of being a Chia farmer. there’s creating the plots or plotting then there’s farming the plots. during this post we are getting to specialise in the method of making your plots. the kinds of machines and space for storing are very different than the kinds of hardware you ultimately want to use to farm.
We initially recommend that you simply try plotting with what you’ve got around. the sole caution that is that you simply want to limit the quantity of plots you create that use your internal/consumer grade SSD because the temporary space. SSDs have very different wear lives and that we have detailed information on SSD endurance. I personally use the chia plotting service ,highly recommended.
The first phase generates all of your proofs of space by creating seven tables of cryptographic hashes and saving them to your temporary directory. Phase 2 back-propagates through the hashes, phase 3 sorts and algorithmically compress these hashes within the temporary directory while beginning to build the ultimate file and phase 4 completes the file and moves it into your final plot destination.
One of the main bottlenecks is typically the entire sustained write speed of the disk underneath your temporary directory. We recommend used datacenter SSD if you actually want to travel fast and not sacrifice consumer SSDs making plots. NVMe is quicker than SAS and SAS is quicker than SATA. This PC World overview of storage technologies can explain these acronyms and therefore the differences. TBW, or terabytes written, is usually how SSD drive life is measured. One k32 writes 1.8TiB in non-bitfield mode and 1.6 TiB with bitfield enabled. More on bitfield during a moment.
There are some good rules of thumb for now. These can change as we’ll be returning to creating some plotting speed improvements after launch. First we’d like to elucidate bitfield versus no bitfield plotting. Originally, the plotter didn’t use bitfield back sorting. The bitfield back sort is theoretically faster than not using the bitfield and that we already know that it saves 12% of total writes but requires more RAM. we’ve a hunch we will speed bitfield up 10% and make it work on more processors but that’s not in there yet. What we do know is that, as long as you’re comfortable with the 12% more total writes, no bitfield will work faster when SSD or fast SAS is your temporary directory. If your temporary directory is on a daily HDD, like mine is, bitfield is 20% faster than no bitfield. Older CPUs might not see the speed increase the maximum amount as noted above.
Returning to the principles , here are a couple of . Never touch the stripe size of 65536. nobody has found a speed up over that value and that we are likely removing it from the choices list. (Update: as of 3/11/21 stripe size has been removed as an option.) You almost never want to use any bucket values aside from 128. Less buckets requires more RAM for every plotting process. 64 buckets requires twice the RAM.