We have to start with a warning: we do not recommend that you do the Chia mining or any other cryptocurrency with the PC. It is a process that subjects the hardware components to maximum stress, significantly reducing their durability and useful life, and also consumes large amounts of energy. We repeat that, from HardZone, we do not recommend that you do because some manufacturers also cancel the guarantee of their products if they have been damaged due to mining.
However, if you decide to do it (which is under your responsibility), we are going to tell you what would be the most optimal hardware to get the best possible profitability.
The premises when mining Chia
As we have anticipated in the introduction, the particularity of Chia is that instead of using the raw power of the GPU, both the capacity and the speed of the storage units are used for mining, which is why it is said that in Instead of mining, the Chia cryptocurrency is cultivated. This greatly reduces the energy consumption and the heat generated by the equipment, but even so, there have already been cases of SSDs that have reached the end of their useful life after only 40 days of mining, so it is necessary to have Be very careful with the hardware you choose.
Unlike mining Ethereum and other cryptos, growing Chia takes a long time. How long? Tentatively, about 6-7 hours is the typical time it takes to get a standard block (which they call a parcel) k = 32 (twice as long as k = 33), and that’s with a fast SSD. Obviously, it is possible to grow multiple plots at once with the right hardware, but then the required capacity skyrockets.
Each trace (that’s what the mining process is called) of 101.4 GB officially requires up to 350GB of temporary storageAlthough that doesn’t mean you can’t “mine” Chia with a 256GB SSD. The average write speed during each trace varies, and although sometimes reaches 100 MB / s, sometimes it can drop almost to zero. When it drops, it generally means more computational and memory work is being used, which is why a minimum of 4GB of RAM is also required.
What type of storage hardware is most recommended?
The best solution to mine Chia is to have a High capacity and very fast SSDAlthough, as we have already explained in the previous section, you do not need it to be PCIe 4.0 full speed since it is not going to take advantage of this performance unless it has a huge capacity to be able to execute several traces simultaneously. For this reason, the most recommended is to use an SSD in enterprise grade U.2 format and high resistance.
You should keep in mind that using a 512GB consumer SSD (the best right now in terms of capacity / performance / price) for Chia mining is a bad idea, not only because it will degrade quickly but also because with that capacity alone you will be able to do, in the best of cases, two tracings at the same time.
For this reason, a large capacity SSD is generally used to make the plots and then a large mechanical hard disk drive to transfer the finished plots. Chia’s mining app will allow you to do that almost automatically, but it can be a delicate process because if something goes wrong (such as exceeding the temporary storage space), the plot will crash and you will lose all the work you have done.
Ultimately, for fast SSDs the limiting factor is likely to be storage capacity; if we use the official 350GB temporary space requirement, that means a 2TB (1863GB) SSD can handle maximum five plots simultaneously. It is possible that you could do six or even seven, but you would run the risk of running out of storage space and losing everything, so it is not recommended at all.
Recommended Hardware for Chia Mining
At this point, suppose you want to build a PC to mine (or farm) Chia, what hardware would be the most recommended? You should not think that because Chia computing occurs in storage you do not need a decent processor, since there is a part of CPU and memory computing, so it is something that should not be neglected. The only thing that really doesn’t matter is, actually, the graphics card because unlike in the mining of other cryptos, here it is not used for absolutely nothing.
That said, as a processor we would choose a Intel Core i5-11400 because we consider that with its 6 cores and 12 threads but being a fairly affordable CPU we will have more than enough for what we need. In addition, it works perfectly with the included cooling solution because the CPU will not be intensive and it will not overheat. The counterpart if you want to set up a system AMD would be a Ryzen 5 5600X.
Nor can we neglect the motherboard, since in addition to being compatible with the selected processor, we will have to make sure that it incorporates a good controller for storage. For this reason, we opted for a plate ASUS Prime Z490-P.
We have already said that we can settle for the heatsink that comes standard in the processor (if you want to put a third-party one, better still) so we move on to RAM. In this case the minimum is 4 GB, but it is better to have 16 GB for more space and we select the always reliable ones. Corsair Vengeance LPX 3200 MHz, in two modules of 8 GB each.
Now comes the most important part, the storage. We choose an SSD Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus 4TB, a high-performance SSD (7,100 MB / s read and 6,600 MB / s write) that has great durability, with up to 2,800 TBW. Obviously you can choose lower capacity models so that it is cheaper, but keep in mind the limitations that we have explained at the beginning regarding capacity. By the way, there are SSDs that advertise up to 12,000 TBW, but they are not on the market yet.
As secondary storage we need a high capacity and reliable hard disk, and we opted for a Seagate Exos X10 10TB, an enterprise-class hard drive that has great reliability plus great performance with up to 249MB / s transfer rate. You have the option, in case you had not noticed, to use external USB hard drives for this purpose, but be careful because its reliability depending on an external connector is not desirable to mine Chia.
The rest of the components are a bit “to the taste of the consumer”, since we would have to choose the box and the power supply. Regarding this, we would recommend a well-refrigerated box and a power supply from a renowned brand of at least 450 watts, so as not to be scarce, and 80 Plus Gold efficiency certification at least.
As you can see, starting Chia mining with a PC does not come cheap, and if mining Ethereum or other cryptos requires a large initial investment in GPUs, mining Chia also requires it in storage devices, at least if you want to have a good mining performance and that the device does not die after a few months of use.