AWS throws its home-grown Arm CPUs at new memory-intensive instance type

Claims Graviton2 thrashes x86 on price/performance, touts lowest-priced memory on the Amazonian cloud


Amazon has found a new use for its home-grown Graviton2 processors – powering a new EC2 instance type optimised for plenty of memory.

The new EC2 X2gd instance type is intended to run databases – including in-memory databases – analytics, caching, or anything else that prefers swimming in deep pools of RAM.

Available RAM in the eight new instances starts at 1 vCPU with 16GB of memory and ascends to 64 vCPUS and a terabyte of RAM. There’s also a bare metal option for the top spec, which we mention as the Graviton2 is thought to possess 64 cores and AWS has confirmed that vCPUs are actually dedicated cores without the ability to handle simultaneous multithreading.

As ever, AWS claims that the new instances are better and cheaper than those it offers powered by x86 servers. For the X2gd, that means a claim they offer 55 percent better price/performance than existing X1 instances.

The CEO of online photo lockers SmugMug and Flickr took to Twitter to offer his own numbers.

AWS also asserts that the new instances offer more RAM, for less cash, than any previous instance type.

The Register will let you write your own spreadsheets to prove that right or wrong. What we can say is that AWS has now put its home-grown silicon behind EC2 instance types for everyday workloads, compute-intensive workloads, bursty apps and now memory-optimized software. And it appears to have done that with the same CPU, rather than offering the smorgasbord of variants that Intel and AMD throw at different applications. ®


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