27 May 2021

27th of May

Farm status
CPU only
Running Rosetta overnight

Nvidia GPUs
Running Einstein in the morning (GPU) and Rosetta (CPU) overnight

Raspberry Pis
Pi3's running Einstein. Pi4's running Einstein and Rosetta

For news on the Raspberry Pis see Marks Rpi Cluster

Other news
I've decided I might have a crack at Chia farming. I figure I have plenty of disk space so might as well use it. I've taken the Toms Hardware budget PC build as a basis along with an idea from Sloth Tech TV (on YouTube). The parts I have ordered are:

ASUS Z590M-P motherboard
Intel i5-11400 CPU
Noctua CPU cooler

I'm going to repurpose an old case/power supply. I have spare memory and M.2 SSD which will be the boot drive. I also ordered some pre-loved 300GB 10K SAS hard disks and a set of cables off eBay. The idea is the SAS drives will be used for the work space. I already have a SAS controller. The drives only cost $17 each (AUD) plus shipping so I ordered 4. I figure it can do 3 plots at a time with staggered starts so I only need 3 drives with the fourth being a spare. If the SAS drives don't work out I'll look at using a U.2 drive instead. If it turns out to be a flop then I can always use the PC for number crunching.

I've started a separate blog for the Chia farming: Marks Adventures in Chia


Update 28 May 2021
First problem. SAS cables arrived and they have the wrong connector. My fault. The SAS controller doesn't come with a printed manual and it doesn't say on the box what connector its got. I had to lookup the manual for the controller to find out it has an SFF-8643 connector. I have now ordered another set of cables.

Update 1 June 2021
Second problem. Replacement SAS cable arrived along with 4 x 300GB SAS hard disks. SAS cable works fine. Two hard disks report multiple errors and cause the controller to refuse to boot the machine. The 3rd drive reports errors when writing. The 4th drive sounds like its doing retries. That is 3 out of 4 drives failed. I contacted the eBay seller and he promptly refunded me for three of the drives. I suspect they got damaged during shipping as they were just wrapped in thin bubble wrap and a layer of cardboard.

Having been turned off pre-loved disks I have ordered a new SAS drive to see if it works with my controller. These days some companies are signing their firmware to make sure you only use their products. If it works I will buy another two and if not I'll be going down the SSD route.

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