Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud
User Guide for Windows Instances

Compute Optimized Instances

Compute optimized instances are ideal for compute-bound applications that benefit from high performance processors. They are well suited for the following applications:

  • Batch processing workloads

  • Media transcoding

  • High-traffic web servers, massively multiplayer online (MMO) gaming servers, and ad serving engines

  • High performance computing (HPC) and other compute-intensive applications

Hardware Specifications

For more information about the hardware specifications for each Amazon EC2 instance type, see Amazon EC2 Instances.

Compute Instance Performance

EBS-optimized instances enable you to get consistently high performance for your EBS volumes by eliminating contention between Amazon EBS I/O and other network traffic from your instance. C4 instances are EBS-optimized by default at no additional cost. You can enable EBS optimization for your C3 instances for an additional low, hourly fee. For more information, see Amazon EBS–Optimized Instances.

You can enable enhanced networking capabilities. Enhanced networking provides significantly higher packet per second (PPS) performance, lower network jitter, and lower latencies. For more information, see Enhanced Networking on Windows.

Compute Instance Features

The following is a summary of features for compute optimized instances:

VPC only EBS only SSD volumes Placement group HVM only Enhanced networking




Intel 82599 VF






Intel 82599 VF

For more information, see the following:

Instance Limits

  • C4 instances require 64-bit HVM AMIs. They have high-memory (up to 60 GiB of RAM), and require a 64-bit operating system to take advantage of that capacity. HVM AMIs provide superior performance in comparison to paravirtual (PV) AMIs on high-memory instance types. In addition, you must use an HVM AMI to take advantage of enhanced networking.

  • There is a limit on the total number of instances that you can launch in a region, and there are additional limits on some instance types. For more information, see How many instances can I run in Amazon EC2?. To request a limit increase, use the Amazon EC2 Instance Request Form.