Review PNY LX3030 M.2 NVMe SSD Review: Chia Plot Master Flex

Nov 25, 2021
Great review - really interesting kit. There’s a few extra things that would be great to discuss though.

Anyone deciding whether to use this for Chia plotting today would probably be comparing to using Intel Optane storage. Since XCH is first came out, a lot of changes have taken place and plotting is now possible using a RAM disk for most of the writes, instead of burning through lots of SSD endurance. Using tools like MadMax, farmers are using all the CPU threads to create one plot very quickly, instead of creating lots of plots in parallel. This also means we need less SSD space in total. We only need maybe 200GB of SSD space, tied with 128GB RAM; rather than “the old days” where we were plotting lots of plots in parallel and used a lot of SSD space (maybe a few TB of SSD space).

So a great plotting system today probably uses 128GB RAM, and 250GB of Intel Optane storage as the scratch disk. The Optane storage is fast and (like this PNY drive) doesn’t see a performance degradation when the “cache” is filled.

with this in mind, the comparison for Chia performance probably comes down to the endurance of the drives. This is really what the article is missing right now. What is the cost per plot between these two approaches. (It’s obviously also worth calls this out for the comparison with the other drives. The Corsair and Samsung drives are offering TBW warranties around 600 to 900, and Sabrent have a few up in the 3600TBW. I think from memory Optane is massively higher … but is it still a winning option on $ per TBW versus this PNY drive ?)

anyway, thanks for the continued interest and coverage on Chia stuff. It isn’t very mainstream so great to see it still covered.