Sunday, May 9th 2021

Chia Farming Already Causing SSDs to Fail at Scale, Storage Device Shortages on the Horizon

Chia, the new crypto-currency that relies on storage as proof-of-work to obtain, rather than processing power, is already causing widespread failures of storage devices that have a finite write endurance, according a report by Chinese tech publication MyDrivers. We've detailed how Chia farming works in an older article. Farming it (i.e. participating in the network that keeps the crypto-currency running, in exchange for the currency itself), takes a toll on your storage device. NAND flash-based devices, such as SSDs and USB flash drives, can be re-written a finite number of times, described by manufacturers as "write endurance" and expressed as TBW (terabytes written), or DWPD (drive writes per day, a unit in which drive size is accounted for).

MyDrivers notes that Chia farmers in China are noticing that typical 256 GB SSDs barely last through 40 drive-write days, 80 days for 512 GB, and about 160 days for 1 TB. Endurance varies among the various SSD brands, and NAND flash type used. Since disk space, and not drive performance is paramount in farming Chia, and magnetic storage devices such as HDDs offer more re-writing, stocks of high-capacity HDDs, including those typically headed to the NVR and security surveilance markets, are being soaked up by Chia farmers.
Source: MyDrivers
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35 Comments on Chia Farming Already Causing SSDs to Fail at Scale, Storage Device Shortages on the Horizon

#4
natr0n
The greed of man knows no limits.
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#6
micropage7
and then everything got rare, you can't buy any new hardware for the next 10 years coz of it
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#7
Steevo
What workload is being validated?
Seriously with the crypto craze what work is actually being done? There are few things beyond security breaking results that would need this, and a few hundred million to pay for useful idiots to store hash results and compare them to break encryption on secure transactions to gain access to accounts is enough motivation to want to pay the useful idiots to kill their hardware for such gain is all it would take.
Or to find the vulnerabilities in secure transactions so breaking future iterations would be a multitude easier for someone.
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#8
randomUser
But theres no surprise here.
TBW declared for the SSDs are some magical perfect work scenario nobody knows about. In reality even "sequential" 10GB+ file write gets write ratio of 5x and more.
No wonder they die fast because when you buy a drive with 300 TBW label, you only get about 100TBW if youre lucky.
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#9
Solid State Soul ( SSS )
Crypto currency mining must be stopped, the pinical of human selfishness and greed, one person could obtain a hundred GPUs that could have made a hundred gamers happy.
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#10
zmeul
disk space, and not drive performance is paramount in farming Chia
This is incorrect as per Der8auer's recent video
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#11
DeathtoGnomes
I'm guessing these failures are from entry level and QLC drives.
zmeulThis is incorrect as per Der8auer's recent video
how about a link?
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#12
WonkoTheSaneUK
Great. Just as I was about to expand my file server with my unspent Nvidia GPU money... :banghead:
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#13
kayjay010101
Ugh, if you use consumer SSDs for Chia farming you deserve to have it break. Use proper hardware for the workload. Chia is write-intensive; consumer SSDs have never been built to handle that. Use the right tool for the job, and all that. This is like complaining that an Atom processor can't do efficient multi-core compute...

Used Datacenter SSDs remain an affordable option and have write endurances that will last magnitudes longer than a shitty QLC drive. This is why any Chia farmer will tell you to stick to used Datacenter SSDs.
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#14
NC37
Solid State Soul ( SSS )Crypto currency mining must be stopped, the pinical of human selfishness and greed, one person could obtain a hundred GPUs that could have made a hundred gamers happy.
If the central banks hadn't gone so heavily into depreciation currency, I doubt cryptos would have ever come on the scene. Ultimately if you follow the course and realize the core principles in cryptos, you come to the point of realizing why people are putting money into it. It's not the end all solution to the financial system but, it's better than the current fiats and can go hand in hand with physical gold.

I didn't like it till someone finally explained it all. Then I saw what the fuss was about. Now I kick myself that I didn't really look at it sooner before the prices shot up so much.
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#15
TheLostSwede
WonkoTheSaneUKGreat. Just as I was about to expand my file server with my unspent Nvidia GPU money... :banghead:
Buy now, it's still cheap. Might not be the case next week.
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#16
efikkan
One thing positive though, this finally exposes these "snake oil" endurance ratings on recent SSDs.
Give us MLC back!
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#19
Hargema
They are to be exterminated, literally 0 benefit beside personal greed.
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#20
MIRTAZAPINE
Chia is extremely write intensive in its plotting process. This need an ssd so it allow you to plot into multiple hdd. Its easy to wear ssd out as the ssd is hammer maximum all the way through this process. It took an astonishing 1TB write just so you make one plot of 110GB to store your "lottery number". Do this thousand of time until you fill TB of hdd and you burn a consumer ssd in under a month.
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#21
zmeul
DeathtoGnomeshow about a link?
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#22
BSim500
efikkanOne thing positive though, this finally exposes these "snake oil" endurance ratings on recent SSDs. Give us MLC back!
Agree 100%. After years of suggesting tech sites do an updated SSD endurance test only to be met with a "But we already tested 40nm MLC 8 years ago. Why could you possibly want one for sub 14nm TLC / QLC today"? shrug, this might be the catalyst that nudges at least one of them into "actually testing" it vs copy-paste marketing bullet points on every new drive announcement.
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#23
xorbe
This is a trash generation program, it needs to be stopped.
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#24
Octavean
A couple of days ago I watched a short YouTube video where a chia miner / farmer bought a new Synology DS2419+ 12 bay NAS (Roughly ~$1500 USD) and twelve WD Red 12TB HDD’s (roughly ~$300 USD each). He opened the HDD shipping box and unboxed the NAS, Then tossed the NAS on top of the open box of HDD’s like he had no idea how delicate mechanical HDD’s can be. That wasn’t the end of it either,... He then proceeded to plunk down the HDD’s one by one on top of the NAS like he was drunk or a toddler.

Hamfisted, would be an understatement.

These people are just trying to cache in and some of them (likely a good deal of them) have little to no understanding of the tools they use (HDD, SSD, GPU) and abuse. It’s all about the Cha-ching.
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#25
Legacy-ZA
the.korean.geek
Not worth it if you ask me.
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