Estimated reading time: 5 minutes
With the new cryptocurrency, Chia, raising eyebrows and going live next week, more and more people are trying to get in on the action. We wrote about the best budget plotting rig yesterday. However, people are already coming up with ways to plot for Chia and are running into issues with their SSDs. Today we are going to look at the top 10 cheap SSDs for Chia plotting.
Table of contents
Chia plotting relies on fast storage, making SSDs the obvious choice. Flash pricing has come down making SSDs obtainable for most. For plotting though, you can’t just use any old cheap SSD. In fact, most consumer SSDs will get destroyed in the process of plotting as each plot has about a 1.4TB write hit to generate the ~110GB final file.
For perspective, many low-end consumer SSDs would only make a few hundred plots before their endurance is wiped out and the drive is trashed. That’s forgetting that most SSDs in that class would also post terrible write performance as they often leave out DRAM to save on drive cost. StorageReview has been reviewing client drives since the inception of flash and we’ll present some of the best here for your Chia plotting.
Below we listed out a chart of consumer drives (all 2TB), their endurance, their cost as of this writing, and their write performance to get an overall idea of how they will perform plotting Chia. Now, keep in mind that higher performance is not always the best. Some of the lower-end in endurance has some of the highest performance but would burn up trying to plot Chia.
Cheap SSDs For Chia Plotting
|Drive||TBW||Sustained Write Performance|
|Sabrent Rocket Gen 4||3,600 TB||855 Mbs|
|Samsung 980 Pro Gen 4||1,200 TB||1.78 Gbs|
|WD Black SN 850||1,200 TB||1.52 Gbs|
|Seagate FireCuda 520, 2 TB||1,300 TB||TBA|
Top 4 Cheap SSDs For Chia Plotting
There are two ways to look at this data. You either want to maximize your plots per drive, or you want to maximize your speed to plot, with a drive that has moderate endurance. In the speed kills category, the Samsung 980 Pro is the clear winner, with the WD Back SN850 pretty close behind though carries a higher price tag at the moment. The trade-off with these two drives is that you will burn them out much faster than the highest-rated endurance drives.
On the other hand, the Sabrent Rocket offers the best endurance and good performance for its price. The next strongest endurance to performance to price is the Silicon Power US70 with just a hair slower performance. Either of these drives will produce roughly 3X more plot over their lifetime, they’ll just be half as fast to get there.
SATA only? Try a light enterprise drive like the Intel S4510. They’re widely available and not terribly expensive. For those that can support a U.2 SSD through native connectors, edge card adapter, or other means, the NVMe Intel P4510 also can be found at great pricing used.
None of these drives guarantees any better luck when farming Chia, but they probably have the best chance to help if you can’t spring for enterprise SSDs.