You’ve probably seen my previous Chia posts, including how to build an efficient but sufficiently beefy plotter/farmer. As a long-time datacenter guy, I like building affordable, powerful servers.
Chia-specific cryptocurrency posts
- So you think you want to farm chia?
- Chia hardware starting points
- Building the Intel NUC Chia Plotter
- Frequently Ungoogled Chia Questions
- Chia update and frequently answered questions
However, as many farmers have found, if you plot and farm on the same machine, I/O can impact your farming performance, whether it’s disk I/O within the box, or writing off to a network share somewhere.
On top of that, you have to maintain a full Chia node, and optimally set up distributed harvesting with a somewhat complicated process. The full node currently requires about 13GB of local storage and frequent writes, so a Raspberry Pi or the like with an SD card is suboptimal. This also requires up to two days (for most computers) to sync the node initially, during which time you’re not at your best as a farmer.
Imagine if you could farm with the plots you have, using a tiny computer with very little CPU / RAM / storage requirements, without running and maintaining a full node, and saving 100W or more in the process.
Flexpool has just released their ‘FlexFarmer’ program which does just that.
Disclosure: I do work for Flexpool, but this post is based on my experience, not a press release or the pool admin’s expectations. Some of the testing I did was “on the clock” alongside support tasks, but I was not paid or required to write this post.
What does FlexFarmer do?
At a high level, FlexFarmer communicates with a node proxy on the pool server to communicate work and space, instead of requiring a local full node to operate. This means that anything that would require a full Chia node is handled on a powerful, resilient node at the Flexpool end.
You do still need to install the full Chia software to create your wallet. There will probably be ways around this in the future. You will also want a more formidable system for plotting, as the Raspberry Pi isn’t good for more than 1-2 plots a day.Continue reading