AWS CloudEC2

Compare Amazon EC2 instances C3 vs C4 vs C5

In this post, we’ll compare Amazon EC2 instances C3 vs C4 vs C5. In this comparison, we will focus on cost, performance, and strength and weakness as a key to identify and upgrade your instance.

Whats new in Amazon C5 instances?

EC2 C5 is the next generation of their compute-optimized instances. Compute instance is chosen whenever there are high CPU workloads. C5 instance type having hardware hyperthread on a 3.0 GHz Intel Xeon Platinum 8000-series processor and Elastic Network Adapter (ENA) which offers 2250.0 Mbps of network bandwidth which is faster than the C4 instances

C5 instance requires HVM AMIs that include drivers for the Elastic Network Adapter (ENA) and NVMe.

Command to check NVMe module installed or not in your current Amazon EC2 instance:

If you are planning to migrate/upgrade instances to C5 then below points will help you to take the decision.

Compare Amazon EC2 instances C3 vs C4 vs C5

Compare Amazon EC2 instances C3 vs C4 vs C5 Specification:

From the table below you will come to know about compute units, Memory Network performance, EBS bandwidth, EBS throughput stand out as the most visible difference makers. The C4 and C5 instance look pretty similar

Metrics

AWS Instance Type

C5 High-CPU Extra Large

C4 High-CPU Extra Large

C3 High-CPU Extra Large

API Name c5.xlarge c4.xlarge c3.xlarge
Memory 8.0 GiB 7.5 GiB 7.5 GiB
Compute Units (ECU) 16 units 16 units 14 units
vCPUs 4 vCPUs 4 vCPUs 4 vCPUs
Instance Storage EBS only EBS only 80 GiB (2 * 40 GiB SSD)
Network Performance Up to 10 Gbps High Moderate
EBS Optimized: Max Bandwidth 2250.0 Mbps 750.0 Mbps N/A
EBS Optimized: Throughput 281.25 MB/s 93.75 MB/s 0 MB/s
Enhanced Networking Yes Yes No

Compare Amazon EC2 instances C3 vs C4 vs C5 Cost:

Pricing wise, C5 packs is having less cost than C4 and C3. What’s interesting to note for Linux users is that the on-demand rates are slightly cheaper for c5 instances.  Windows OS users have higher hourly operations costs. But, overall, it’s cheaper to run the c3 family. Here we will compare amazon ec2 c3 vs c4 vs c5 cost in terms of on-demand cost and 3yrs reserved partial upfront cost.

Metrics

AWS Instance Type

C5 High-CPU Extra Large

C4 High-CPU Extra Large

C3 High-CPU Extra Large

API Name c5.xlarge c4.xlarge c3.xlarge
Linux On Demand cost $124.100000 monthly $145.270000 monthly $153.300000 monthly
Linux 3yrs Reserved cost
(Partial Upfront)
$55.480000 monthly $68.620000 monthly $83.950000 monthly
Windows On Demand cost $258.420000 monthly $279.590000 monthly $274.480000 monthly
Windows 3yrs Reserved cost
(Partial Upfront)
$189.800000 monthly $202.940000 monthly $195.640000 monthly

NOTE: AWS EC2 price may vary.

Amazon C5 available in six sizes:

Instance Name vCPUs RAM EBS Bandwidth Network Bandwidth
c5.large 2 4 GiB Up to 2.25 Gbps Up to 10 Gbps
c5.xlarge 4 8 GiB Up to 2.25 Gbps Up to 10 Gbps
c5.2xlarge 8 16 GiB Up to 2.25 Gbps Up to 10 Gbps
c5.4xlarge 16 32 GiB 2.25 Gbps Up to 10 Gbps
c5.9xlarge 36 72 GiB 4.5 Gbps 10 Gbps
c5.18xlarge 72 144 GiB 9 Gbps 25 Gbps

Recap of ‘C’ type EC2 instances:

C3 – Launched in 2013

C4 – Launched in 2015

C5 – Launched in 2017

Conclusion:

C5 instances offer a much better performance and price compared to the C4 instances.

If a user needs a high IOPS of local storage then C3 will be the best choice.

If a user requires EBS then C5 will be the best choice as compared to the cost and high EBS throughput.

If a user not required any EBS Optimization, then they can go either for C4 or C5 as per extra compute than C3 and we suggest to go with C5 as it is little cheaper than C4.  If high disk I/O required then it might be more practical to stay with C3 instances this needs to process a large number of logs and to streams data.

Similarly, we have compared Amazon EC2 M5 vs M4

If you have any questions or feedback, please feel free to leave any comments below.

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