Rework local node hardware section of guides

To further the goal of making Rocketpool easily accessible, and to set up our node operators for long-term success, it is important to have complete, consistent, and up-to-date hardware guides. As a node operator of moderate technical capability that has just recently started up a new node, I have found these guides sometimes confusing, sometimes inconsistent, and some sections lacking in critical information.

First we are given a list of minimum requirements with some recommendations in parenthesis in the Full Node Requirements Section and then immediately thrown into a variety of different hardware suggestions from different people. I suppose it’s a very decentralized approach to a hardware guide, but it’s confusing.

I would like to see a set of mininum reqs. and then a set of recommended reqs. immediately after, to get my bearings on hardware, before diving into example setups. And most of the recommended reqs. are already there in parentheses! Some recommended reqs. I think would help new operators are:
-High TBW drives. QLC memory is upfront cheaper and a tempting buy, but long-term terrible for durability. This ought to be explained as it directly affects the durability of the drives our nodes are operating on.

Now on to hardware examples, particularly the NUC section From what I have noticed in conversations in Discord, people are not aware of the thermal problems with NUCs, mini-PC’s, and fanless cases. The introduction to the NUC section is all sunshine and roses, and thermal problems are buried under asterisks or not mentioned altogether. There needs to be a large CAUTION warning at the beginning of this section stating:
A. NUCs and mini-PCs pack a great deal of computing power into a small package, but without extra cooling measures, will run hot and generate significant noise from the CPU fan.
B. Fanless cases can sometimes allow your SSD to go out of temp. spec. if the drive is under high load, such as during pruning. Without supplementary cooling during these times, high operating temps will lead to dramatically reduced drive performance and potentially reduced lifespan of your drive.

Manufacturer recommended operating temps for SSD’s are between 0 and 70C. Under 50C is ideal. Two separate users of fanless cases (8th and 11th gen Akasa cases) have reported SSD temps over 80C during high load. To me this suggests a failure of the guides to properly inform people of the downsides of NUC’s and fanless cases and causes people a great deal of headache searching for thermal solutions to these pieces of hardware.

Now after the hardware examples we find this section on Hardware Requirements under Preparing a PC>System Requirements, which then contradicts the earlier suggested hardware minimums and suggests that running a full node requires

  • CPU: Quad-core 1.6+ GHz
  • RAM: 8 GB DDR4 2400 MHz
    and anything less should be relegated to a partial node without Geth.
    The earlier section Full Node Requirements states these as minimums:
  • Quad core CPU (or dual-core hyperthreaded); both x64 and arm64 are supported
  • 8 GB of RAM (preferably DDR4)
    which seems much more accurate, particularly as one hardware example (the laptop) uses DDR3 RAM.

I think the Hardware Requirements section is incorrect and should be removed entirely.

In conclusion, these easy adjustments to the hardware staking guide can help prepare new generations of Rocketpoolers for success and help them learn from our trials and errors.

Hey @CointelNo, thank you for the post.

This is a good suggestion - we endeavour to be consistent but we might have some inconsistency around the required specs. It is difficult to cover every hardware aspect but you make some good points.

I didn’t realise there was such an issue with NUC cooling, I have never had a problem but it is worth mentioning.

We will add it to our backlog (although it might take us a little while to get it done) or if someone wants to give it a go - our documentation is open source so we accept pull requests:

I have ran multiple NUCs with the stock cooling and no issues- temps below 50C. Maybe there should be a warning for fanless cases but anyone installing aftermarket cases seems to me to be more of an advanced user anyway, and should already be aware of the risks. Getting more temperature data for different devices during different node operations and mentioning in the hardware requirements section the importance of keeping temps in a safe range do sound worthwhile though.