Benchmarking Amazon EC2 Instances vs. Various Intel/AMD CPUs

Written by Michael Larabel in Software on 20 February 2018 at 08:28 AM EST. Page 1 of 7. 12 Comments.

Given the recent performance changes following the Spectre/Meltdown CPU vulnerability mitigation and having just wrapped up some fresh CPU bare metal benchmarks as part of that testing as well as the recent AMD Raven Ridge launch, I've carried out a fresh round this week of benchmarks on various Amazon EC2 on-demand instance types compared to a number of bare metal Intel and AMD processors in looking at how the compute performance compares.

This fresh round of tests is largely for reference purposes for seeing how the current Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud instance types compare to bare metal processors/systems raw performance. Amazon continues to advertise the vCPUs and the ECU ratings for instance types while this is an easier way to gauge their on-demand cloud instances to current Intel/AMD processors.

Ubuntu 16.04 LTS HVM with all available stable release updates as of 18 February were used for testing, followed by a reboot, and then running an onslaught of benchmarks with the Phoronix Test Suite. All tests were done out of Amazon's US East (Ohio) data center.

A variety of general purpose and compute optimized instance types were tested for reference. Given most of the benchmarks used for this comparison were CPU focused, I didn't bother with the GPU/memory/storage optimized instances for this round of testing. In the days ahead I'll be extending this benchmarking with some additional data points from the other public cloud providers for a look at how the performance compares with the latest software stacks. Once Ubuntu 18.04 LTS is out in April will also be another large roundabout of public cloud benchmarks.

Beyond looking at the raw performance, the Phoronix Test Suite also generated results looking at the value of each of these EC2 instance types based upon their on-demand instance pricing. Current pricing and instance details can be found at The EC2 instance types tested for this article included the c4.8xlarge, c5.18xlarge, c5.9xlarge, m4.10xlarge, m4.16xlarge, m5.12xlarge, m5.4xlarge, m5.large, and t2.2xlarge as a diverse range of the general and compute optimized instances.

Amazon EC2 Cloud Linux Benchmarks

The bare metal Ubuntu processor performance benchmarks were from using on the AMD side: Ryzen 3 1200, Ryzen 3 1300X, Ryzen 3 2200G, Ryzen 5 2400G, Ryzen 7 1700, Ryzen 7 1800X, Threadripper 1950X, and EPYC 7601. On the Intel side were the Core i3 8100, Core i5 7600K, Core i5 8400, Core i7 4770K, Core i7 5960X, Core i7 7740X, Core i7 8700K, Core i9 7980XE, Xeon Silver 4108, and 2 x Xeon Gold 6138.

Thanks to the open-source benchmark automation and reproducibility focus of the Phoronix Test Suite, you can compare your own system(s) bare metal or cloud performance to these results by simply running phoronix-test-suite benchmark 1802206-FO-CLOUDCPU905.

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