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Cheapest means of getting HDDs online?

So, I'm planning on plotting and farming Chia. About six years ago my neighbor threw out six pcs, and I scavanged them. I currently have a Chia machine planned for generating a ton of plots per day. I basically, have a few HDDs to start up from the find, and a bunch of mobos I can add SATA extenders to. They're most likely highly unreliable with age. One's a Dell Power Edge 2500. So, I can get 8 port SATA extenders and farm off of these in the short term. (probably 100 HDD storage space with some mods)

All I need to do is replace fans and power supplies. Maybe use a splitter to distribute multiple machines between one power supply. Long term this will get complicated. In the long long term I need a used server chasis. Mid term I need to find a cheap system I could add SATA extenders to. A raspberry pi type solution seems a bit touch and go. Maybe, not reliable long term.

Anyone know of anything like an Intel Nuc or cheap mobo and cpu combo I could use for getting my farm up?

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You should watch derbauer's videos first:



It takes HOURS to mine a single plot with fast processors and nvme ssds - with slow processors and slow IO, it's gonna be much slower, PLUS mechanical hard drives will slow down mining and you'll further slow down things with port extenders.

Each plot will use 100+ GB , it will use something like 200-300 GB of disk space while it's mined, until the plot is finalized... after which it will use 100+ GB. 

You'll need hundreds of TB of disk space monthly just to get a chance to be picked, to win one coin ...  you could plot for MONTHS wasting electricity on those old power hungry servers and simply not have luck to get one of your plots chosen.


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Oh, I have a new machine for plotting. I have the storage space, and old machines I can modify for the farming aspect. I don't think I'd use the old hardware. Just the drive racks, and add some of my own. I think it's possible to bring Derbauers farm down with hardware and software optimizations. He didn't really get deep into Linux.

I have the HDD housing I just need to pick up a bunch of accessories and a couple power supplies. I don't need to run the old servers. I just need to find a modern board I can cheaply expand to run eight or more HDDs per raid card. There is a Raspberry Pi option, but that takes 25 Raspberry Pis, or modifying the Pi to run more HDDs. Another option is SATA to USB, and running them on a large powerbank. Could plug about 12 HDDs in through a USB port that way. Then I'd have to trust USB to SATA cables. Is there a good brand for those cables?

If I could get forty or more drives up on a board with PCIe to SATA extenders the cost might actually be cheaper than the Pi options. Which low to mid tier boards should I be looking at that still support expanding? Is there a nuc that might work?

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you are too late to the party, im plotting since the main net went live and i can barely keep up with the network growth and estimated time to win for me has been 1 year for a week now because the network space literally tripled in one week.


unless you got massive data center hardware for free and got basically free electricity its not worth spending any time farming chia anymore.

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There are no real ways to get into HDD's cheap right now. Everything is supply constrained. If you had built up storage 6 months ago you'd be sitting pretty right now.


A the rate the Chia network is growing you'd probably want at least 100TB of storage to get anywhere mining.


Plotting time can be an issue but it really depends on your hardware. SSD plotting is kind of the bare minimum at this point but is not really that fast. There are apparently people now plotting with multiple VM's using tiered RAMdrive/NVMe arrays now which is a better situation but you need a system with a lot of cores which supports multiple TB of RAM for that.


I am not advising anyone to do it or not do it. I'm just explaining the present situation.

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2nd, you are too late. i have 40TB of plots (started 3 weeks ago) and only won 2XCH a few days ago. complete luck. At max, I had .0008% of space on network. Now I only have .0005%...that's with 40TB of plots.. my advice, don't bother. 

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You can get them easily on second hand computers and such. Some computers goes very cheap with a decent drive in them.


On an unrelated topic. Look at those hoarders all happy and thinking they will become rich overnight by paying even scalping prices on any PC component they can find making things even harder for gamers, please, when you (if you) wash your face tomorrow, take a second to look at yourself to know that not a single decent human being will consider you as a friend, let alone trusting you.


By the way, on the opposite spectrum of graphics card, good luck making money back on investment when you want to sell second hand hard drives when you will go bankrupt (And you will).


Finally, I wouldn't give a single view on that topic if it didn't pop on my feed and I thought OP was a gamer trying to build a decent build.

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