Last year at AWS re:invent, Amazon introduced a way to get just the right amount of GPU power you needed and nothing more. This week, the company announced it has released new EC2 elastic GPUs just for Windows users.
These are purpose-built for Windows instances that require accelerated performance for smaller or intermittent amounts of time. Developers can choose from four GPU sizes: 1GB, 2GB, 4GB or 8GB, depending on your requirements — and all support OpenGL.
What’s great about this approach is that it is so much cheaper than Amazon’s standard GPU options, starting at a minuscule five cents an hour for the 1GB model. That’s a significant savings over the previously cheapest GPU option, which starts at $.76 per hour. That adds up to an 80 percent savings, according to Amazon.
The trade-off here is that the elastic GPUs are not a direct part of your hardware instance, but are instead attached via the network interface. As such, Amazon warns that it’s important to allocate the necessary network bandwidth to accommodate these options.
While that particular trade-off could be significant to larger companies running resource-intensive applications, this kind of pricing option could put GPU power in reach of companies running Windows applications that previously wouldn’t have considered it because it was simply too cost-prohibitive
It also gives larger organizations with Windows applications some different options to choose from, and with the savings involved here, if your application doesn’t require a constant flow of GPU power, this could be a better way to go.