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Your Questions Answered: DrPlotter and You

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We had a lot of community excitement and interest about Chia Network’s recent acquisition of DrPlotter, and many great questions came in from our Discord community. To address this curiosity, we have compiled a detailed Q&A based on the official announcement.

Q: When will DrPlotter be open-sourced?
A: There are definitely a few components of DrPlotter that can be open sourced sooner rather than later. The DrServer and harvester would be first, as that would allow others to build around it. No specific dates can be announced as of yet.

Q: Why does DrPlotter require 24GB of vRAM for the GPU?
A: The Pro4x format technically would have needed about 32GB of RAM. To get that format to work, a lot of compression/memory optimization is required, and that can be used for plotting tech in general.

Q: Will DrPlotter release different compression formats now?
A: There are no current plans to release lower compression formats.

Q: While the new plot format will be marginally compressible, will it be possible to design it in a way so people can still lower their watt/plots by farming with a low spec GPU?
A: It will still be possible to “compress” plots by a few percent before the exponentially increasing costs for decompression really make an impact. However, because our goal for the new format is to limit compression as much as possible, farming with a GPU (even a low spec one) likely will not make economic sense.

Q: Will the new plot format have compression?
A: It’s likely that if the new format allows some compression, those tiers will already be made available, and indeed, the easiest levels could be the reference point.

Q: Wasn’t the original plot format intended to be incompressible?
A: Yes, but GPUs were initially underestimated, and some attacks were unknown. A ton of variables get tweaked that significantly affect plotting/harvesting; it’s a lot to balance.

Q: Are you still concerned that plotting will require too much TBW with the new plot format?
A: This problem looks mostly solved now, and the goal is not to require an abundance of writes but to keep it all in RAM if possible.

Q: MMX plots are quickly made with a GPU with minimal compression available and are farmed on just the CPU. Can the new plot format be more like this?
A: MMX made the decision to add extra plot compression resistance by moving to an SSD format. It does offer an HDD format, but it has a few issues we would rather avoid. HDD’s are here to stay for at least another decade and definitely a requirement for the new format.

Q: How will the new plot format benefit casual users/farmers?
A: Most casual users won’t see an HDD anymore. Another goal is to reduce plot sizes so laptop users can use the extra spare space.

Q: Will we see a reduction in plot size with the new format?
A: Not too unlikely. Smaller plot sizes don’t really affect security that much. They are more of an issue for HDD activity, though, but I think it would be fair to offer smaller plots and suggest people use large plot sizes when going with HDD.

Q: What happens with DrServer with the acquisition?
A: I’ll be looking to open source the DrServer so you can run it on your own. The developer keys in the pre-existing plots will simply be removed. I’m not sure yet if we’ll keep the token-supported online server or just allow the community members to run their own. Pooling your GPUs together can give you smoother results and less chance of a late partial when you get closer to 100% GPU usage, but you need to trust the online server to be fair.

Q: What happens with the DrPlotter and DrSolver (harvester) with the acquisition?
A: The harvester will become open source, and Windows support can be added for that component.
For the plotter and solver, Windows memory management is trickier, and performance is expected to be lower. My assumption has always been you will want to squeeze performance out of your hardware when using these levels of compression.

Q: Will DrPlotter be updated to support other OS (Windows, Mac, etc)?
A: Typically, you will want to have a dedicated system running the GPUs for DrPlotter. It’s not a passive farming activity, as it will use 99% of your GPU. Think of it more as a JBOD that instead hosts GPUs. In that kind of setup, you can install a free operating system and have it perform the best it can.
If you want to farm while using your machine for other activities, then I would recommend an alternative plot format.

Q: Will Amd GPUs (e.g. with Rocm on Linux) be supported for the new plot format?
A: I expect the new plotter to offer as wide a range of support as possible. For the CHIP proposal, I expect we would have a working CPU/GPU version (if CPU is still possible, to be determined), then there will be some lead time before the hard fork and AMD support could be added during that time. At some point I’d also like to add Apple M-series support, as there has been a version of DrPlotter that could do the M1-Ultra.

Q: Is there a rough timeline for the harvester open-sourcing?
A: I have the new plotter without developer plots ready, and I am working on the tool to remove the developer plots from the existing ones. Those will be released first (either today or tomorrow, although the fee removal tool might need more testing before it gets released). After that I’ll work on the harvester and see about the best way to open source it.
My initial guess is that it will be released as a separate repository, as it was designed more as a “hook” into the existing harvesting code, which is not the way you would do it if it was integrated as part of the official releases.

Q: Do you have an update on the Plot Format?
A: Not yet. Details on the Plot Format will be provided when they are ready.

Q: Will DrPlotter become part of BladeBit?
A: The first step is to propose the new plot format and complete the consensus building process before committing to the best way to implement plotting for the new format.

Q: Is plot compression required for Chia farming?
A: No! While DrPlotter only works with compression, those who do not want to use compressed plots can still use the existing plotters. If you’re new to Chia, this guide will walk you through the plotting and farming processes:

Q: What did Chia actually buy?
A: CNI acquired the DrPlotter technology, code repositories, and associated IP rights.

Q: Can you provide deal details?
A: Information about what was acquired has been shared but specific transaction details will not be publicly disclosed.

Q: Regarding the removal of fees, do those who have already plotted to DrPlotter need to do anything (replot, edit a config, etc.), or are the fees removed automatically?
A: A conversion tool to remove fees will be released shortly, followed by guidance on how to do so. It will not require a full GPU replot but rather a more straightforward data copy.

Q: Where should I go if I’m interested in using DrPlotter?
A: Currently, one can go to the DrPlotter GitHub at Once the plot conversion tool is ready, the DrPlotter repo will be migrated to the official Chia Network GitHub.

If you have more questions, the best place to ask is on our Discord server. See you there!

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