Chia Plotting Overview

Chia plotting is the process of creating files called "plots" that contain cryptographic proofs used during farming. Each plot takes up storage space on your hard drive and represents your chance to win rewards in Chia farming. The speed and efficiency of plotting largely depend on the hardware used and the plotting software. This page discusses various plotting options, their trade-offs, and factors to consider when choosing the best approach for your specific needs.

Did you know?
Plotting is temporary

One of the biggest mistakes in Chia farming is over-spending on plotting hardware. Unlike the months after mainnet launch, the netspace is not growing exponentially so plotting fast is not as important as actually having more storage to farm.

Pro tip
Parallel staggering

CPU plotters like the Chia Official Plotter and MadMax could benefit from running multiple plotting processes in parallel. Staggering the start times of parallel processes can help in reducing cumulative resource usage and drastically increase the plot output of a system .

Did you know?
Plotting doesn't kill SSDs

It was widely misreported that Chia plotting kills SSDs in a matter of weeks. Although plotting does require a large number of writes, this is often offloaded to RAM, GPUs, or enterprise grade SSDs. In fact, even plotting directly to HDDs is feasible to ensure no wear on SSDs.

Plotting Methods

CPU Plotting

Slower but accessible.

  • Lower initial investment
  • Can be done with most consumer-grade computers
  • Can use HDDs or high endurance SSDs for temporary storage
  • Slower plotting speed (30+ minutes)
Chia Official Plotter, MadMax, Gigahorse CPU, Bladebit Diskplot
GPU Plotting

Fastest and most energy efficient

  • Faster plotting speed (2-10 minutes)
  • Reduced disk writes
  • Higher initial investment
  • Nvidia only (4GB+ VRAM)
Gigahorse CUDA, Bladebit CUDA
RAM Plotting

Server hardware plotting

  • Faster plotting speed (5-10 minutes)
  • Zero disk writes
  • High RAM requirements (440GB+)
Bladebit Ramplot

Plotting Software

Chia Official
  • Included with Chia software
  • Suitable for parallel plotting directly to HDDs
  • Open source
  • Slower plotting speed compared to third-party plotters
  • No compressed plot support
  • Included with Chia software
  • Faster plotting speed than the official Chia plotter
  • Can partially offset writes to ramdisk (110GB+)
  • Open source
  • No compressed plot support
  • Included with Chia software
  • Has all-RAM (Ramplot), partial-RAM (Diskplot), and CUDA (GPU) options
  • Supports compressed plots
  • Open source
  • High RAM requirements
  • Has CPU and CUDA (GPU) options
  • Supports compressed plots (at highest available levels)
  • Lower VRAM & RAM requirements than Bladebit for GPU plotting
  • Closed source
  • Up to 3.125% dev fees
Hardware requirements for different plotters (K32)
Plotter GPU (min VRAM) RAM (GiB) SSD (GiB) Plot Size (GiB) Plot Time
Chiapos 4 240 101.3 1-4 hours
madMAx (all RAM) 256 101.3 15-30 minutes
madMAx (partial RAM) 110 220 101.3 20-45 minutes
madMAx (all disk) 4 256 101.3 30-60 minutes
Bladebit ramplot 416 101.3 4-10 minutes
Bladebit diskplot 4 480 101.3 10-30 minutes
Bladebit CUDA in-RAM Nvidia (8GB) 256 78.1-101.3 1.5-4 minutes
Bladebit CUDA Nvidia (8GB) 128 78.1-101.3 1.5-6 minutes
Gigahorse CUDA (all RAM) Nvidia (4GB) 256 53.1-85.7 1.5-6 minutes
Gigahorse CUDA (1/2 partial RAM) Nvidia (4GB) 128 150-180 53.1-85.7 4-10 minutes
Gigahorse CUDA (1/4 partial RAM) Nvidia (4GB) 64 250 53.1-85.7 8-20 minutes
Gigahorse CUDA Disk Plot Nvidia (4GB) 8 200 53.1-85.7 12-25 minutes
Gigahorse CPU (all RAM) 256 53.1-85.7 15-30 minutes
Gigahorse CPU (partial RAM) 110 220 53.1-85.7 20-45 minutes
Gigahorse CPU (all disk) 4 256 53.1-85.7 20-45 minutes

Plotting Questions

A modern multi-core CPU, at least 4 GB of RAM, and sufficient storage space (SSD or NVMe recommended) for temporary plotting files and final plot storage.

Plot creation varies depending on hardware and plot size, typically ranging from several minutes to over an hour.

The standard plot size, k=32, is recommended for most farmers as it has lower hardware requirements to creation.

Yes, you can create multiple plots simultaneously, but it's essential to ensure adequate resources to prevent bottlenecks. With recent improvements in plotting such as GPU plotting, creating multiple plots simultaneously on one machine is not advantageous.

A k=32 plot requires approximately 101.3 GiB (108.8 GB) of storage space when finished, with temporary files requiring around 239 GB during the plotting process.

The temporary directory is where intermediate files are stored during the plotting process, while the final directory is where the completed plot is stored for farming -- typically a HDD.

Improve plotting speed by using faster storage devices (SSD or NVMe), increasing parallel plotting processes, and adjusting settings according to your hardware capabilities.

This depends on your hardware; you can find recommended settings by consulting Chia community resources, forums, or using online calculators that consider your specific system configuration.

The Chia plotting process does not support pausing or resuming directly; however, third-party plotting tools may offer this functionality.

A completed plot will have a .plot file extension and can be checked for validity using the Chia GUI or CLI tools to ensure it's recognized and ready for farming.

You can move plots between storage devices by simply copying or transferring the .plot files, ensuring the new location is correctly configured in your Chia farming software.

The "K" value represents the plot size, with higher values requiring more storage space and offering a proportionately greater reward potential; k=32 is the standard and recommended size for most farmers.

Ensure your plots are efficiently participating in the farming process by regularly checking the Chia GUI or CLI tools for plot count, farming status, and potential issues.

To avoid accidental overwriting or deletion, organize your plots in dedicated directories and consider using read-only settings or file permissions where possible.