Chia Farming Can Kill a 512GB SSD in Just 40 days?

If you keep up to date with the latest Cryptocurrency news, then you might be aware that since the beginning of the year, we have seen a growing interest in Chia. A brand new coin that ‘farms’ using SSD storage rather than more conventional mainstream means such as graphics cards. Following its official launch earlier this month, Chia is being heavily pushed as a more ‘environmentally’ sound solution (as it requires considerably less power to operate than GPU-based coins). It would, however, appear that while true in certain aspects, this almost certainly doesn’t appear to be the case in others.

Why? Well, following a report via TechSpot, research has concluded that a standard 512GB SSD will last only around 40-days if set to the task of grinding Chia.

Chia – A Killer for SSDs?

Opting for storage rather than graphics cards, the concept of ‘farming’ Chia remains, pretty much, the overall same concept. A faster drive (or GPU) will result in greater earnings. You can, of course, use standard HDDs as well, but given the comparative speeds offered in SSDs, it’s certainly not the smart move… Or is it?

You see, while an SSD should last around 6-10 years for the average consumer, its lifespan is ultimately (although not always) based on how often the memory is rewritten. Given that Chia is very much dependant on this process (and can write anything up to 45TB per day depending on the device/internet connection), the researchers, testing ‘standard’ consumer SSDs, found that a 512GB drive would only last for around 40 days before being rendered completely useless. And the higher the capacity, well… The arithmetic does seem to confirm these results.

  • 512GB – 40 days
  • 1TB – 80 days
  • 2TB – 160 days

What Do We Think?

While you might be tempted to start trying out this new cryptocurrency, it would appear to be highly inadvisable for the average consumer based on these results. Well, more accurately, the average SSD. Manufacturers have already started releasing drives specifically tailored towards this usage, but here we might hit the biggest overall problem in the whole ‘environmentally friendly’ aspect of Chia.

Yes, it consumes less power, but SSDs are, generally speaking (and at least when compared to graphics cards) inexpensive. So, they’re (currently – this certainly might change over the coming months) easy to get and affordable. What do you do with a completely inoperative storage device though? Well, for industrial-scale operations, it’ll be simply throwing it in the trash!

As such, if this research is proven to be accurate, there may undoubtedly be a huge problem with SSDs cluttering up landfills that lasted barely over a month’s worth of usage before being tossed out. Well, either that or we’ll start seeing a suspiciously high number of SSD-themed coffee tables appear on Amazon.

What do you think? – Let us know in the comments!

Mike Sanders

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