MiningStorage

The Best Hard Drives for Mining Chia Cryptocurrency

10 Mins read

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Although Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETC) are still the most popular cryptocurrencies to mine, in the past few years, and even months, there have appeared new cryptocurrencies whose popularity has been steadily rising. One of these new cryptocurrencies is called Chia, and it is about to make a revolution of the way how we can mine cryptocurrencies.

Read also: The Best PCIe SATA Expansions Cards in 2021

Chia was developed by Bram Cohen, the world-renowned software developer who helped create the peer-to-peer BitTorrent protocol. Like Bitcoin and Ethereum, Chia has its own blockchain programming language called Chialisp. This programming language is designed to create decentralized application technologies, and make the process of mining widely accessible without expensive hardware or high electricity bills.

Compared to Bitcoin and Ethereum, which use a Proof of Work (Pow) model, Chia is based on a Proof of Space and Time (PoST) model. This means that Chia doesn’t rely on processing performance to mine, but on storage. With PoST model, users of the Chia blockchain “seed” unused space on their hard drives or SSDs by installing specialized software which stores a collection of cryptographic data on the disk as “plot” files. Users then scan the blocks to check what hash is closest to the cryptographic challenge, and then send the result off to a separate server called the “timelord”.

With this model, Chia aims to reduce the environmental impact of mining cryptocurrencies. Instead of using CPU or GPU power, Chia is designed to be mined with SSDs or HDDs. However, not all storage hard drives are suitable for mining Chia. Only the drives with large amounts of storage space are best suited for mining Chia, since Chia requires a lot of storage space for creating plot files. In this roundup, we’ll show you the best storage drives you can use to mine Chia cryptocurrency.


Best Enterprise 18TB Drive:

WD Gold 18TB Enterprise Class

Best Hyperscale 18TB Drive:

Seagate Exos X18

Best Budget 18TB Drive:

WD Elements 18TB

Best Enterprise 16TB Drive:

Seagate IronWolf Pro 16TB

Best NAS 16TB Drive:

WD Red Pro 16TB

Best Enterprise 14TB Drive:

WD Ultrastar DC HC530 14TB

Best Budget 14TB Drive:

WD My Book 14TB

Best M.2 SSD for Chia Mining:

Sabrent 4TB Rocket Q4 M.2 2280

Best SATA SSD for Chia Mining:

Samsung 870 QVO 4TB

Best Budget 4TB Drive:

Seagate BarraCuda 4TB


Best Enterprise 18TB Drive: WD Gold 18TB Enterprise Class

Capacity: 18TB | Interface: SATA 6 Gb/s | Cache: 512 MB | RPM: 7.200


  • Incredibly large storage space
  • Hellium-filled hard drive
  • Real-time data correction tech
  • 512 MB cache
  • Very expensive

When it comes to mining Chia cryptocurrency, the WD Gold 18TB Enterprise Class hard drive is probably the best drive to get the job done. Built for data centers and workstations, this drive can boast with outstanding reliability, and can handle workloads of up to 550TB per year. Featuring huge 512 MB cache, and MTBF of 2.5 million hours, this is by far one of the best hard drive in its class.

The WD Gold 18TB is greatly optimized for mining Chia cryptocurrency, as it features sophisticated monitoring electronics that help correct linear and rotation vibrations in real time, and thus prevent micro data corruptions which are undesirable when hashing out Chia. The only flaw of this extraordinary hard drive is its rather high price, but it’s still cheaper then buying multiple Samsung 870 QVO 4TB SSDs

Best Hyperscale 18TB Drive: Seagate Exos X18

Capacity: 18TB | Interface: SATA 6 Gb/s | Cache: 256 MB | RPM: 7.200


  • Impressively large storage space
  • Helium sealed-drive design
  • Optimized for data centers
  • 256 MB cache
  • Noisy operation

Seagate Exos X18 18TB is another hard drive which is very well-suited for mining Chia cryptocurrency. Just like the WD Gold 18TB, the Exos X18 is also an enterprise class hard drive that features helium sealed-drive design, hot-plug support, and adheres to high security standards of cloud data centers.

Unlike the WD Gold, this drive features a smaller 256 MB cache, and is a bit cheaper. It is also able to support extremely high workloads of up to 550TB/year, and can provide max. sustained transfer rate of up to 270 MB/s. It’s major advantage over the WD Gold is the fact that it features enhanced caching technology, which might prove useful for building a high-performance Chia mining rig.

Best Budget 18TB Drive: WD Elements 18TB

Capacity: 18TB | Interface: USB 3.0 | Cache: 64 MB | RPM: 7.200


  • 18TB of storage space
  • Extremely portable
  • Competitively priced
  • Features 64 MB cache
  • Supports only USB 3.0 interface

The WD Elements 18TB is by far the cheapest 18TB hard disk drive you can get right now. However, its budget price comes with a few compromises. First of all, it is an external drive, which means it uses USB 3.0 interface which is quite slower compared to the SATA 6 Gb/s interface. It also comes with a 64 MB cache, which is quite small for a 18TB hard drive.

It remains debatable whether external hard drives are suitable for mining Chia cryptocurrency, however, according to some Reddit users, external HDDs are perfectly fine for storing Chia plot files, even when using the USB data connection. In that regard, WD Elements 18TB is thus one of the best hard drives for mining Chia, thanks to its affordable price, and decent performance.

Best Enterprise 16TB Drive: Seagate IronWolf Pro 16TB

Capacity: 16TB | Interface: SATA 6 Gb/s | Cache: 256 MB | RPM: 7.200


  • 16TB of storage space
  • Supports workloads of up to 300TB/year
  • Rotational Vibration (RV) sensors
  • Hardware-based security
  • Produces a lot of heat

Although Seagate faced class action lawsuit over high hard drive failure rate in the past, things have changed drastically since then, as Segate’s IronWolf Pro lineup of enterprise NAS hard drives proves that this company knows how to make reliable and affordable storage drives.

The Seagate IronWolf Pro 16TB is one such drive. Designed primarily for high-end users and multi-drive environments, this drive is perfectly suited for mining Chia cryptocurrency, as it features advanced RAID optimizations, has an MTBF rating of 1.2 million hours, and it supports workloads of up to 300TB/year. The IronWolf Pro also supports both 512e and 4Kn storage formats, and it features hardware-based security for increased data protection. The IronWolf Pro, however, isn’t quite cheap, but its high price justifies its advanced features.

Best NAS 16TB Drive: WD Red Pro 16TB

Capacity: 16TB | Interface: SATA 6 Gb/s | Cache: 256 MB | RPM: 7.200


  • 16TB storage capacity
  • 3D Active Balance Plus technology
  • Optimized for NAS systems
  • 5-year warranty
  • Features budget Marvell RAID controller

If you find 18TB drives to be too expensive, but still want to buy yourself a hard drive with large storage space for mining Chia cryptocurrency, then consider purchasing the Western Digital Red Pro NAS 16TB drive. Despite being around $200 cheaper than the WD Gold 18TB, the WD Red Pro is still a very reliable and high-performance hard drive that is able to suit the needs of professional NAS systems.

The WD Red Pro comes with 256 MB cache, features a workload rate of up to 300TB per year, and it ships with WD’s 5-year limited warranty. This drive can also boast with enhanced reliability thanks to its 3D Active Balance Plus technology which helps detect subtle shock events and prevent data corruption.

Best Enterprise 14TB Drive: WD Ultrastar DC HC530 14TB

Capacity: 14TB | Interface: SATA 6 Gb/s | Cache: 512 MB | RPM: 7.200


  • Huge 512 MB cache
  • Helium-filled design
  • Vibration protection technology
  • Supports high workloads
  • Noisy operation

Although there are more spacious hard drives out there, the WD Ultrastar DC HC530 14TB hard drive is one of the better drives for mining Chia cryptocurrency due to its impressive specifications and real-world performance. Built specifically for data centers, this enterprise-class hard drive can boast with huge 512 MB cache, helium sealed design, and RVS technology for vibration protection.

The Ultrastar DC HC530 also supports workloads of up to 550TB per year, which makes it one of the best high-end hard drives overall, and it has a 2.5 million hours MTBF, as well as 5-year limited warranty. Special thing about the Ultrastar is that it features dual-stage actuator head positioning system, which means it can deliver a high degree of accuracy with minimum possibility of producing a data reading error.

Best Budget 14TB Drive: WD MyBook 14TB

Capacity: 14TB | Interface: SATA 6 Gb/s | Cache: 64 MB | RPM: 5.400


  • Large storage capacity
  • Compact dimensions
  • Affordable price
  • Spins at 5.400 RPM
  • Loud operation

WD MyBook 14TB is another external hard drive on our list of the best storage drives for mining Chia cryptocurrency. Compared to other high-capacity internal hard drives, the WD MyBook features a significantly lower price, and as such is a good alternative for Chia mining if you are on a tight budget.

The WD MyBook 14TB supports data transfers over USB 3.0 high-speed connection, and is comprised of multiple smaller 2.5-inch drives spinning at 5,400 RPM. The drive itself features a rather small cache size, so don’t expect mind-blowing performance from it. The MyBook is also a rather noisy hard drive, however, its budget price, large capacity, great portability, and RAID support make it a very good hard drive to get the job done.

Best M.2 SSD for Chia Mining: Sabrent 4TB Rocket Q4 M.2 2280

Capacity: 4TB | Interface: M.2 PCIe Gen4 x4 | Cache: N/A | RPM: N/A


  • Incredibly fast read and write speed
  • Supports PCIe 4.0 interface
  • Up to 5-years warranty
  • Great aesthetics
  • Could be cheaper
  • Average endurance rating

In case you don’t fancy the idea of mining Chia with mechanical hard drive, and prefer something much, much faster, then you’ll like Sabrent 4TB Rocket Q4 M.2 solid-state drive. This SSD successfully combines extreme performance with high capacity, and it won’t break your bank. Plus, it features sleek looks, and it comes bundled with free Sabrent Acronis True Image software.

There are several reasons why this drive is perfect for mining Chia. Firstly, it fully supports PCIe 4.0 interface, which allows it to deliver unprecedented read and write speeds of up to 4,900 MB/s, and 3,500 MB/s respectively. This means it can write those Chia plot files blazingly fast. Secondly, this drive features endurance rating of 800 TBW, which is very good for an NVMe drive, and it means it won’t wear out too quickly while writing Chia plot files. Finally, this drive supports secure erase functionality as well as Trim and S.M.A.R.T. data reporting, which is essential for conducting proper mining operations.

Best SATA SSD for Chia Mining: Samsung 870 QVO 4TB

Capacity: 4TB | Interface: SATA 6 Gb/s | Cache: N/A | RPM: N/A


  • Large capacity for SSD
  • Faster than any HDD
  • Long lifespan
  • Low power consumption
  • Not as durable as some high-end NVMe drives
  • Higher price per GB of space compared to mechanical hard drives

When it comes to mining Chia cryptocurrency, mechanical hard drives are much better than solid-state drives due to their high capacity and low price per gigabyte of storage space. However, SSDs are just as good as HDDs for mining Chia, if not even better. The Samsung 870 QVO 4TB is probably one of the best SATA SSDs for this purpose, as its able to offer high performance and decent amount of storage space for a relatively reasonable price.

The 870 QVO 4TB isn’t the fastest, nor the most spacious SATA SSD available on the market. However, it is probably the most economical one. It uses SATA 6 Gb/s connection for transferring data, and it features a 4-bit MLC V-NAND flash memory. Featuring read and write speeds of up to 560 and 530 MB/s respectively, it is quite fast drive. The 870 QVO also has a lifespan of 1,440 TBW, which is very impressive. Overall, the 870 QVO is a solid buy in case you want to use SSD for mining Chia cryptocurrency.

Best Budget 4TB Drive: Seagate BarraCuda 4TB

Capacity: 4TB | Interface: SATA 6 Gb/s | Cache: 256 MB | RPM: 5.400


  • Inexpensive price
  • Fairly large cache size
  • Easy to install
  • Slow performance
  • Not suitable for write-intensive workloads
  • 2-year limited warranty

Last but not least, there is the Seagate BarraCuda 4TB hard drive. Compared to other drives that we’ve listed here, this one features the smallest amount of storage space, but is also the cheapest hard drive of them all. Fast, dependable, and versatile, the BarraCuda 4TB is a perfect drive for getting into mining Chia cryptocurrency, especially if you want to invest as little money as possible into this endeavor.

The BarraCuda 4TB supports SATA 6 Gb/s connection, has a rather big 256 MB cache, and supports data transfer speeds of up to 190 MB/s. However, with low price also come some disadvantages. This drive runs at 5,400 RPM which is decent, but not as fast as 7,200 RPM. Also, it isn’t very suitable for write-intensive workloads, as its based on SMR technology. Overall, it is a decent drive, but if you plan to mine Chia seriously, then consider purchasing a more powerful and spacious drive.

Conclusion

Mining Chia cryptocurrency is becoming increasingly popular each day, and if you plan to jump on the bandwagon, be sure to supply yourself with a batch of high-capacity hard drives. We hope our guide helped you in search of the information you were looking for. If you seek advice, feel free to post a comment below. We will try to help you.

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About author
Before he joined ViCadia, Nicholas worked as a journalist for several tech magazines. Over the years he gained a lot of knowledge about computers. His main area of interest are processors, motherboards, and operating systems.
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