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Hi, as some of the long time viewers of LTT might now there was a video about mining crypto with harddrives; Burstcoin. Now that crypto is back this topic is getting interesting again, mostly because burstcoin does not use graphics cards, cpu or asics but just plain old hard drives. 

 

I would like to start mining burstcoin because it seems te be quite profitable now and is gaining a lot of popularity, the only thing is the mining hardware. Hardrives aren't that difficult to get and there are enough websites that crawl amazon products and calculate the cheapest drive ($ per TB). The thing that I'am struggling with now is finding the correct motherboard for this application and the correct balance between buying a more expensive board with more sata ports or buying higher capacity drives.

 

What would you recommend for a 100 TB configuration?

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<-- Moved to Folding@home, Boinc, and Coin Mining -->

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There is a really big trend of people using Chia, seems to be much more profitable than burst coin. Also chia plots will likely kill your SSD every few months and it will take way too long to plot on a hard drive, so make sure to factor that into the cost

Please tag me @RTX 3090 so I can see your reply

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if it's just for the sake of having as many drives connected to a single system as possible (they dont need to be in any sort of raid array, right?) i'd just get whatever cheapest motherboard that still has 6 or 7 pcie slots, and cram it full with cheap sata HBA cards.

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3 minutes ago, manikyath said:

if it's just for the sake of having as many drives connected to a single system as possible (they dont need to be in any sort of raid array, right?) i'd just get whatever cheapest motherboard that still has 6 or 7 pcie slots, and cram it full with cheap sata HBA cards.

No, sata hard drive are a lot more expensive than SAS drives. Burst coin uses proof of space so the higher the capacity the better. It is better to get a "SAS backplane", "SAS controller", a cable for it and then got lot's of SAS drives which are cheaper per GB in terms of capacity. Sometyhing like this backplane will allow you to insert 12 drives https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/174674505198?epid=1083375705&hash=item28ab696dee:g:jHUAAOSwrmRfibCZ
And a SAS controller typically has two ports. Some SAS cards have an external port which you could also use with a storage array like HP storageworks if you wanted to make things a little easier

Please tag me @RTX 3090 so I can see your reply

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18 minutes ago, Niccolo said:

Hardrives aren't that difficult to get and there are enough websites that crawl amazon products and calculate the cheapest drive ($ per TB).

Amazon is quite expensive for used server equipment which will get you the cheapest price per GB. Try ebay instead, they offer much cheaper prices and some servers or parts are "collection in person only" meaning if you live near them you could get a pretty good deal, but they are plenty of options with free delivery too

Please tag me @RTX 3090 so I can see your reply

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There are also port multiplier boards, which take one sata port and create 5 ports : https://www.ebay.com/itm/153443934186?hash=item23b9f89fea:g:fmkAAOSwcSFbQuVZ

 

The above is sata 2.0 only (270MB/s) - they're cheap because they use ancient port multiplier chips nobody wants anymore, so basically excess stock or overruns from other products - and of course if you read and write from all 5 ports at the same time, you won't get close to 270 MB/s speed but for mass storage, it can be enough.

 

The sata controller must also tolerate sata port multipliers, but most support them just fine.  If I remember correctly you can have up to 127 sata devices on one sata controller, but I'd probably stick to one port multiplier on each sata port from controller ... so for example, 6 original sata ports => 6x5 = 30 sata ports 

 

I read some stuff about the chia coin ...if I understood correctly generation of a "plot" takes a few hours and it's disk intensive, but afterwards you basically just have to keep the copy on your drive  just in case in the future your plot is picked and you get coins for it. 

So I was thinking.. get an old g34 board and fill it with 256 GB of ram, make a 160 GB ram drive and use the ram drive to generate the 106 GB+ "plot" then move it to regular storage .... but I think the program needs cpu also, so whatever you gain from using ram drive is lost by lack of cpu cycles.

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1 hour ago, mariushm said:

fill it with 256 GB of ram, make a 160 GB ram drive

It needs about 240GB of temp disk space and some RAM for the processing, but yeah you should just be ok with 256GB.

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