Best farming hardware


For me the use case is that I can turn off my PC at nights. 10 Watts compared to around 200-300 watts. At $0.27 AUD per KWH, it is a significant saving. Even with a 5 Watts HD I’d save over $100 per year in electricity compared to leaving a PC on 24/7

They are expected to be <5Watts average and <10Watts Max


Not at this time. The read time over USB 2 is 20 times faster than the uplink speed of my internet connection

If I had a fast uplink then maybe, but USB 2 still faster than the average uplink speed for a few years to come.


I see no reason why it couldn’t fit inside a garden path light, the kind that charge from a solar cell and then glow at night. They’re very cheap. Attached to the top of a tall tree, maybe by the use of a quadcopter, it would have tremendous range.


I actually plan on using a memory stick OR micro SD with USB reader. $30 odd dollars for a 64GB micro SD 60/90 MBytes/sec write/read speed. That is actually overkill for all but fast upload links

So a CHIP + 64GB for around $40 & very low power requirements. Initially 64GB will give a number of vaults since I expect the average stored amount in each vault to start off at < 8GB Maybe even 2 GB for the first bit.


I think my general ideas are going overboard judging by other peoples posts here.

I think honestly what most people dont seem to realise is the single largest bottleneck is the speed of your upstream, most places dont have asynchronous connections. You can add all the drives you want but I bet this will be the main bottleneck.


Thats a terrible assumption.

We know this.


I am in Australia.

Telstra cap the upspeeds here unless you pay them large sums of money.

So much for increasing entrepreneurship and jobs in Australia (which is what all the major parties claim to be about) when you have the ex public telco capping everything and killing the NBN rollout purposefully because they are afraid of competition.


Judging that the conversation was around hard drive setups etc I don’t think its too bad of assumption.


But, but, don’t you have a “Choice”?


If the uplink on asymmetric connections is indeed the bottleneck then farmers will tend to be cloud servers, the cheapest with Celeron CPUs and 500GB disks but 100Mbps pipes both ways. £10 a month, but no power bill.


Still even so, there will likely still be more people using their home computer to run at least one vault than people using cloud services.

Be interesting to see the actual statistics of the number of vaults compared with link speed. Also number home vaults compared to cloud vaults.

At least in Australia the misnamed NBN will be providing the major population centres >70% population) with at least 100 Mbps down and 40 Mbps up over the HFC cabling system using a upgraded DOSIS standard. At the moment the HFC allows 100/2 only. Only a couple of years to wait (hopefully).


I assume that the 4GB is more than sufficient for tests and early network or did you add some? Trying to decide on buying memory sticks or a few more chips instead, by the time additional memory is needed it may be cheaper while the chips most likely wont be.
In another thread you mention getting connected to WiFi as though it were a bit of a PIA. Was it a hassle?


The CHIP has 3.3 GBytes free in its NAND storage. The vault only got to around 60 MBytes

So yes the onboard storage was plenty for the tests. Dunno if the tests still restrict vaults to 100MB or not.

A pure guess feed by how eager people here are to supply vaults is that for the initial period of a live network 2 or 4 GB will be overkill. How long that lasts will depend on uptake and how eager those new people are to supply vaults. Also the reluctance of people to fully trust the network won’t develop a fault that requires a restart or have a security flaw will influence how much data is stored on the network.

EDIT: the config files seem to say 500MB now for the max vault size


It was not a problem for the “Pocket CHIP” I had

Firstly I had 2 CHIPs and one “Pocket CHIP” and the first CHIP I used was faulty, but still flashed etc so time wasted on it and discouragement and needlessly trying to fix my setup

Then the good one tried to set my HDMI monitor to 1560x1050 (yes 1050 not 1080) which caused my monitor to blink on and off when ever I tried to click on the settings to fix it. Between blinks and guessing mouse position I got the settings up and solved that

To get HDMI you need a HMDI DIP board and then the issue that the DIP board actually means that the antenna is shielded on 4 of the 6 sides and the 2 remaining is not clear “air”. So my wifi that is on the other side of the house dropped out too quickly. I had to fire up my other router to supply wifi closer.

So yes some teething issues of which WiFi was the last one.

I am going to try headerless now. I didn’t try that first because of the faulty board stopped the USB serial interface working and I thought I’d need a USB to serial converter which are all downstairs packed away at the moment.

Now all those teething issues are finished with I should be able to get my “Pocket CHIP” to run a vault and a headerless CHIP to run a vault.


I aim to dial in remotely so the composite will do for initial setup and toying around. What concerns me is that you are not the first to mention poor wifi. I’ll wait for mine to arrive before ordering more. Thanks for the info!


My specific problem was the shielding caused by the antenna being surrounded so much with copper power planes in the 2 boards (top/bottom) and effective shield created by the 2 board long connectors on either side

The wifi problems are mostly to do with the power management of the board and there is a way to set wifi to full power. That will solve most problems and just requires a start up script to be added which is straight forward.

For me the simple solution was to turn on my other router. Without the DIP board then the wifi was fine out of the box connecting to a router through walls etc to a AP at the other end of house. And my table & phone report low signal at that point as well. So I did not see an actual problem with the wifi on the board. Just the DIP board caused dropouts.

I wish I still had a composite TV/monitor as that would have saved so much time, but alas I got rid of them when I moved.


@Savage you might find this useful for troubleshooting and has link to wifi power


abolish wifi. :stuck_out_tongue: (20char)


Here’s an interesting farming option… $270 and 7w to 26w power consumption for a 2 core 4MB passively cooled PC in a box road tested by the man from Discourse:

$350 (or $270 with 4GB RAM / 64GB SSD)

i5-5200 Broadwell 2 core / 4 thread CPU at 2.2 Ghz - 2.7 Ghz
128GB M.2 SSD
Dual gigabit Realtek 8168 ethernet
front 4 USB 3.0 ports / rear 4 USB 2.0 ports
Dual HDMI out

Be interesting to see how one of these compares to SoC options.


Sorry if i ask a question that is already stated above but there are so many post.

I wanna support Maid and run a Small mini computer that doesnt use a lot power.

For example AsRock Beebox, but i dont have a lot of technical experience so i would like to
ask if people know a good mini pc that use as low power as possible. Power is like $0,25 kw/h here.

Any advice would be appreciated, also price have to be good ofcourse.

Thanks in advance and goodluck farming all !


I checked the link happybeeing sended and that actually looks really nice compared to some out there now.

I just wonder if i can add external hdd to it so i can take a lower drive with a higher ram.

This one looks awesome.

But im doubting,

-I5 Core 5250U
-8 GB Ram
-64 GB SSD

-I7 Core 5500U
-8GB Ram
-64 GB SSD

Then i can add a nice external HDD to get even more vaults possible.

But im not really into hardware can someone tell me whats the smartest pick and why?


I think system testing of the network will help guide us as to what is good hardware and what is overkill.

the system @happybeing just mentioned seems really good for the price. Not that it is powerful since I can by a desktop for similar. But its the power it uses, the desktop could not ever match that.

Now compared to say a C.H.I.P. Arm processor, the differences are that CHIP uses wifi, have much less compute power and less of everything I guess. Its power is also 2W to 5W.

On the surface its a no-brainer the system mentioned by @happybeing seems better. But once you bring in your bandwidth and data quota for your internet connection then things change.

For the 350, you could have 30 CHIP units drawing 2-4 times the power and each have 2 vaults. But if your spare bandwidth only supports 6 vaults then a suitable farming setup might be 3 CHIPs at less power and 30 cost. Granted no spare computing power and ports etc, but they would do the job for lower cost.

But if spare bandwidth would allow 50 vaults then @happybeing’s mentioned system would be the better choice (assuming it can handle 50 vaults).


We need real life testing of vaults in a more complete network before we can know the BEST hardware.