SSD or SD Card as Storage?Is the estimate payout option realistic?

hi there,

hopefully somebody is kind enough to answer me some beginner questions:

  1. I am planning or running STORJ on my raspberry pi to keep electricity costs at a minimum and I’m wondering if I should rather buy and add a SSD or a 512GB SD Card to it. What would you recommend and why?
  2. Using the Option to get an estimated payout on the STORJ website I got some pretty high payout estimates for 500GB Storage and 200mbits down and 50mbits up speed. Are they realistic or should I expect much lower payouts since there might be to many other nodes and mine won’t get as much traffic as it could theoretically handle?


  1. In my experience SD cards have awful endurance, so go with an SSD (or hard drives).
  2. No, this is not mining, you may never reach 50mbps upload traffic if the clients do not want to use the network that much.

The SD card will wear out too quickly with all the reads and writes. If you can even get them that big?

I keep hearing on the forums that the speed benefit of the SSD isn’t worth the cost too… it’s also worth considering that if you have a relatively small drive like that the chances of getting egress from it are probably a bit limited.

That said, I don’t think any of us really know what storage v egress ratio we may get in real world usage yet.

In summary…I’d say don’t spend anything you can’t afford to lose.


Thanks for your feedback! I did not know that SSD don’t wear out as quickly as SD Cards. Actually I thought they use the same technology. So I’ll go with a SSD rather than a SD Card. The reason why I haven’t considered HDD is due to their noise and their higher electricity consumption (might make a difference in the long run, right?)

concerning 2: How much differ your experiences from what the estimate would be on this website?

This is estimator. It estimates your earning if all resources are fully used.
We really can’t predict how much resources will be used by customers.

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I figured as much. That’s why I asked for experiences concerning how much reality differs from these potential numbers. Should I expect 50% of the amount/badnwidth use by clients? Or rather 10%?

You can use this script: Earnings calculator (Update 2019-12-20: v8.1.0 - Now with Uptime and Audit scores, Vetting progress and DQ indication!)

Actual traffic on my node:

My internet connection is 1g down, 600m up.
Currently the node has about 4.6TB of data (with a lot of free space)

The 20mbps upload last month was some kind of stress test that Storj ran.


@Alexey thanks for the link but since I do not run a node yet I can’ t really use it to get an idea of what a realistic payout would be if I ran the node.

@Pentium100 So just about 1/4 of your maximum bandwidth is used on average. So in my case my real payout should also be around 25% of what I potential maximum estimate is?

Hey @JustMe, welcome! :slight_smile:

As @will.topping said, probably not worth spending much as we’ve no idea how our nodes will get used when Storj goes live.
Even when it does, usage will vary depending on location, connection, and client usage…
It’d be best to reuse any spare disk you’d already have, if any.

Besides, SSDs do consume less power than 3.5" drives, but 2.5" mechanical hard-drives are quite power efficient and still less expensive than SSDs.
Personnally I’m using 2.5" drives: their power comsuption is between 1 and 2.5w each, depending on wheither they’re idle or working.

SD cards do wear quicker than SSDs, and the one actually running the OS will eventually fail even if you’re not putting Storj files on it, just because of OS log writes, fake clock updates, docker stuff etc… Unless you configure your RPi in a very specific way to prevent writes on the SD card.
This said, a good SD card should last several years I reckon, as long as it’s not over-stressed.

About the estimator: right now, it is clearly over-estimating what can be earned. At least in my case.
Don’t expect to get rich by becoming a Node operator.
But again… We’re not sure what will be the real usage of the network in 3 months time, 6 months, 1 year…
So, watch this space :wink:

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Thanks for your input @Pac ! :slight_smile:
I’m afraid my only spare HDD is way too loud and also needs an external power supply which makes me assume a rather high electricity cost for keeping it running 24/7.
Now I’ve learned sth about SD Cards :wink:
My goal wasn’t to become rich by running a node but a slight profit besides covering expenses for electricity should be in it to have a cool fun fact to tell my friends.
Actually I misunderstood the information from @Pentium100 wrong at first. So since his extremely fast internet connection only gets used on average for about 4Mbits I changed the estimate calculation to use 4mbits up and down and if that is fully used I’d expect around 88USD in 15 month or in other words barely enough to cover for electricity costs and the SSD I need to buy. On the other hand, as you mentioned @Pac , usage/prices may increase and it might be a good investment for the future so one day it might actually turn a decent profit to have diner with friends once a month from the profits.

The other thing to consider is that since you are paid in STORJ tokens, you can use these tokens to directly pay for space and usage on the network. I plan to use some of the tokens I earn to pay for space for backing up my data once the software using the platform matures.

Running a node on the pi will also be a great way to learn about linux and using the command line. If you decide to run a node, you will have to install the command line only version of raspbian. I run a rock64 board (very similar to the pi) with a 2.5" external drive.


I have pi with ssd. Cost ~$150, January payout 6c. This is first month and not yet fully vetted.
Second month looks to heading for 20-50c

But it is silent.

@JustMe: With regards to your spare HDD: if the noise is the issue, then I guess it’s going to be difficult to solve.
About electricity costs, my advice would be to actually measure it because power consumption varies a lot between drives.
Here are some tests we did on our end for instance:

Disk 3.5" WD 5400rpm 3TB 3.5" WD 5400rpm 3TB 3.5" Seagate 7200rpm 500GB 2.5" Seagate 5400rpm 500GB 2.5" Seagate 5400rpm 500GB 1.8" Toshiba 4200rpm 30GB 1.8" Toshiba 4200rpm 80GB 2.5" Toshiba 5400rpm 2TB 2.5" HGST 7200rpm 1TB 2.5" WD 7200rpm 320GB
Model WD30ERZX - 2012 WD30ERZX - 2012 ST3500320AS - 2008 ST9500325AS - 2008 ST9500325AS - 2008 MK3008GAL - 2019 MK8010GAH - 2019 MQ04UBD200 - 2019 HTS721010A9E630 - 2015 WD3200BEKT-00F3T0 - 2009
Enclosure Icy Box IB-351StU3S-B Orico 3139C3 Icy Box IB-351StU3S-B Orico ORI-2139C3-CR Icy Box IB-351StU3S-B no-name no-name Toshiba HDTB420XK3AA Icy Box IB-266StUS-B Icy Box IB-AC603U
Power measured at Outlet Outlet Outlet USB socket Outlet USB socket USB socket USB socket USB socket USB socket
Enclosure consumption 1.8W 0.5~1.4W 1.8W 0.17W 1.8W 0.22W 0.22W N/A (USB builtin) 0.79W 0.4W
Starting up max power 15W 15W 25W 3.5W 5.7W 2.35W 2.07W 2.2W 4.8W 2.9W
Idle, spinning 8W 5.1W 9.8W 1W 3.4W 0.72W 0.68W 0.43W 2.1W 1.3W
Idle, not spinning 2.8W 1.5W 2.6W 0.6W 2.1W 0.39W 0.38W 0.36W ? ?
R/W (USB 2) 8~9W 7~8.2W 11~13W 2~2.5W 4.5W 2~2.4W 2~2.4W ? 3.15~3.74W ?
R/W (USB 3) ? ? ? ? ? N/A N/A 1.3~2.1W ? 2.3~2.5W

About revenues: I don’t find the estimator really useful as it makes a lot of assumptions, but I’d expect to get way more than what @andrew2.hart is getting after the node is fully vetted and stores a decent amount of data: the more data a node stores, the more chance it gets to be queried by the network.
As an example (should be taken with a pinch of salt), so far for this month (Feb 2020) my node has been roughly sending 6GB/day, and stores 1.7TB of data.
If these figures were to stay steady, that would get me:

  • 0.174TB of egress * 20$ => 3.48$
  • 1.7TB of storage * 1.5$ => 2.55$

Grand projected total for Feb 2020: 6.03$

But again, its depends on the month and your mileage may vary… for instance last month was way more interesting (because of StorjLabs stress tests), and some other months were just a litlle better than that, some weren’t… Can’t really predict the future for now ^^’

Maybe we’ll be able to roughly estsimate a ratio between available storage space and average Egress for a node when the product is live with many paying customers, but for now I think all SNOs are just hoping for the best for the coming months and years :wink:

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Once your node has some data the income will suddenly increase a lot. For instance, the january payout for my raspberry pi node was $98 (and $98 escrow, but usually it would be $98 total since last month were 2x surge payouts). That’s only using 2TB of an 8TB disk and only 20Mbps up/down on a 500/500 connection.

Meanwhile, another node I spun up late December has only earned 30 cents or so.

@Derkades: we all hope nodes get such a great payout, but I’d be cautious and wouldn’t take January payments as a reference because I believe most of the trafic was coming from tests.
We can’t be sure results will be that good when in production…

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I am running my node on RPI 3B+ with Western Digital 2TB hard drive connected directly to USB of the RPI without any additional power supply. RPI is powered through phone charger.

It is running since october 2019 and in January I earned 200$, well I got 50$ plus 150$ in escrow.

SD cards are really bad. I just hope mine with OS and docker will work at least few more months. I have backup and important data are on the HDD so in case of damaged SD card, I am hopefully able to replace it with the new one and start everything sooner then they kick out my node.

My hard drive is super silent. It is in my room 1 meter away from my bed and I can’t hear anything.

My advice is: Look for hard drives that are not loud and not too expensive. Don’t expect it to earn a lot in first 2 months and don’t spend too much money on it. You never know how much data will be eventually on the network.

Which OS are you running? (32/64bit ?)
Whats your internet-connection?

I have RPI 4, and plan to use BerryBoot on SD-card and make it boot into OS installed on USB-SSD drive. And run storj node on a WD green 1TB SSD

I am using standart Raspbian system on the SD card. It is working for 8 months without a failure.
Having OS installed elsewhere is a good idea, but using SSD for storj is unncessary :smiley:
Harddrive will do the job just as fine, but if you have spare SSD that you don’t use, it is a good idea, but if you are going to buy something I would go for a cheaper hard drive :slight_smile:

i´m a little bit confused here… is not 8GB ram requisit for a node?
i thought the max ram in a raspberry 4 is 4GB ??? maybe i´m wrong.