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Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud
User Guide for Windows Instances

Windows Accelerated Computing Instances

If you require high processing capability, you'll benefit from using accelerated computing instances, which provide access to hardware-based compute accelerators such as Graphics Processing Units (GPUs) or Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs). Accelerated computing instances enable more parallelism for higher throughput on compute-intensive workloads.

GPU-based instances provide access to NVIDIA GPUs with thousands of compute cores. You can use GPU-based accelerated computing instances to accelerate scientific, engineering, and rendering applications by leveraging the CUDA or Open Computing Language (OpenCL) parallel computing frameworks. You can also use them for graphics applications, including game streaming, 3-D application streaming, and other graphics workloads.

If your application needs a small amount of additional GPU resources for graphics acceleration, but is better suited for an instance type with different compute, memory, or storage specifications, use an Elastic GPU instead. For more information, see Amazon EC2 Elastic GPUs.

FPGA-based instances provide access to large FPGAs with millions of parallel system logic cells. You can use FPGA-based accelerated computing instances to accelerate workloads such as genomics, financial analysis, real-time video processing, big data analysis, and security workloads by leveraging custom hardware accelerations. You can develop these accelerations using hardware description languages such as Verilog or VHDL, or by using higher-level languages such as OpenCL parallel computing frameworks. You can either develop your own hardware acceleration code or purchase hardware accelerations through the AWS Marketplace.

Important

FPGA-based instances do not support Microsoft Windows.

You can cluster accelerated computing instances into a cluster placement group. Cluster placement groups provide low latency and high-bandwidth connectivity between the instances within a single Availability Zone. For more information, see Placement Groups.

For information about Linux accelerated computing instances, see Linux Accelerated Computing Instances in the Amazon EC2 User Guide for Linux Instances.

Accelerated Computing Instance Families

Accelerated computing instance families use hardware accelerators, or co-processors, to perform some functions, such as floating point number calculations, graphics processing, or data pattern matching, more efficiently than is possible in software running on CPUs. The following accelerated computing instance families are available for you to launch in Amazon EC2.

P3 Instances

P3 instances use NVIDIA Tesla V100 GPUs and are designed for general purpose GPU computing using the CUDA or OpenCL programming models or through a machine learning framework. P3 instances provide high-bandwidth networking, powerful half, single, and double-precision floating-point capabilities, and 16 GiB of memory per GPU, which makes them ideal for deep learning, computational fluid dynamics, computational finance, seismic analysis, molecular modeling, genomics, rendering, and other server-side GPU compute workloads.

P3 instances support NVIDIA NVLink peer to peer transfers. For more information, see NVIDIA NVLink.

P2 Instances

P2 instances use NVIDIA Tesla K80 GPUs and are designed for general purpose GPU computing using the CUDA or OpenCL programming models. P2 instances provide high-bandwidth networking, powerful single and double precision floating-point capabilities, and 12 GiB of memory per GPU, which makes them ideal for deep learning, graph databases, high-performance databases, computational fluid dynamics, computational finance, seismic analysis, molecular modeling, genomics, rendering, and other server-side GPU compute workloads.

P2 instances support NVIDIA GPUDirect peer to peer transfers. For more information, see NVIDIA GPUDirect.

G3 Instances

G3 instances use NVIDIA Tesla M60 GPUs and provide a cost-effective, high-performance platform for graphics applications using DirectX or OpenGL. G3 instances also provide NVIDIA GRID Virtual Workstation features, such as support for four monitors with resolutions up to 4096x2160, and NVIDIA GRID Virtual Applications. G3 instances are well-suited for applications such as 3D visualizations, graphics-intensive remote workstations, 3D rendering, video encoding, virtual reality, and other server-side graphics workloads requiring massively parallel processing power.

G3 instances support NVIDIA GRID Virtual Workstation and NVIDIA GRID Virtual Applications. To activate either of these features, see Activate NVIDIA GRID Capabilities (G3 Instances Only).

Hardware Specifications

The following is a summary of the hardware specifications for accelerated computing instances.

Instance type vCPUs Memory (GiB)
p2.xlarge 4 61
p2.8xlarge 32 488
p2.16xlarge 64 732
p3.2xlarge 8 61
p3.8xlarge 32 244
p3.16xlarge 64 488
g3.4xlarge 16 122
g3.8xlarge 32 244
g3.16xlarge 64 488
f1.2xlarge 8 122
f1.16xlarge 64 976

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

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. F1, P3, P2, and G3 instances are EBS-optimized by default at no additional cost. For more information, see Amazon EBS–Optimized Instances.

Network Performance

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

Instance types that use the Elastic Network Adapter (ENA) for enhanced networking deliver high packet per second performance with consistently low latencies. Most applications do not consistently need a high level of network performance, but can benefit from having access to increased bandwidth when they send or receive data. Instance types that use the ENA and support up to 10 Gbps of throughput use a network I/O credit mechanism to allocate network bandwidth to instances based on average bandwidth utilization. These instances accrue credits when their network throughput is below their baseline limits, and can use these credits when they perform network data transfers. For workloads that require access to 10 Gbps of bandwidth or more on a sustained basis, we recommend using instance types that support 10 Gbps or 25 Gbps network speeds.

The following is a summary of network performance for accelerated computing instances that support enhanced networking.

Instance type Network performance Enhanced networking

f1.2xlarge, g3.4xlarge, p3.2xlarge

Up to 10 Gbps

ENA

g3.8xlarge, p2.8xlarge, p3.8xlarge

10 Gbps

ENA

f1.16xlarge, g3.16.xlarge, g3.16.xlarge, p2.16xlarge, p3.16xlarge

25 Gbps

ENA

Instance Features

The following is a summary of features for accelerated computing instances.

VPC only EBS only Instance store Placement group

G3

Yes

Yes

Yes

P2

Yes

Yes

Yes

P3

Yes

Yes

Yes

F1

Yes

NVMe *

Yes

* The root device volume must be an Amazon EBS volume.

For more information, see the following:

Release Notes

  • You must launch the instance using an HVM AMI.

  • GPU-based instances can't access the GPU unless the NVIDIA drivers are installed.

  • There is a limit of 100 AFIs per region.

  • There is a limit on the number of instances that you can run. For more information, see How many instances can I run in Amazon EC2? in the Amazon EC2 FAQ. To request an increase in these limits, use the following form: Request to Increase Amazon EC2 Instance Limit.

  • If you launch a multi-GPU instance with a Windows AMI that was created on a single-GPU instance, Windows does not automatically install the NVIDIA driver for all GPUs. You must authorize the driver installation for the new GPU hardware. You can correct this manually in the Device Manager by opening the Other device category (the inactive GPUs do not appear under Display Adapters). For each inactive GPU, open the context (right-click) menu, choose Update Driver Software, and then choose the default Automatic Update option.

  • When using Microsoft Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP), GPUs that use the WDDM driver model are replaced with a non-accelerated Remote Desktop display driver. To access your GPU hardware, you must use a different remote access tool, such as Teradici Cloud Access Software, NICE Desktop Cloud Visualization (DCV), or VNC. You can also use one of the GPU AMIs from the AWS Marketplace because they provide remote access tools that support 3D acceleration.

AMIs for GPU-Based Accelerated Computing Instances

To help you get started, NVIDIA and others provide AMIs for GPU-based accelerated computing instances. These reference AMIs include the NVIDIA driver, which enables full functionality and performance of the NVIDIA GPUs.

For a list of AMIs with the NVIDIA driver, search AWS Marketplace as follows:

You can launch accelerated computing instances using any HVM AMI.

You can also install the NVIDIA driver manually. For more information, see Installing the NVIDIA Driver on Windows.