You can rent a 448-core super server from AWS for far less than you think — 8-socket Intel-based Sapphire Rapids Xeon have no competitors from AMD for now

AWS logo
(Image credit: Future / Mike Moore)

Market intelligence firm Liftr Insights spotted a new Amazon Web Services cloud provider instance with a mammoth 896-core count, putting it far above rival offerings from Azure and Tencent.

What’s important to note, and as spotted by a Tom’s Hardware reader, these cores are likely derived from 8-CPU, 56-core Intel Sapphire Rapids configurations, effectively utilizing hyperthreading to achieve 2 vCPUs per physical core.

The use of vCPUs allows cloud providers like AWS to offer scalable, flexible, and powerful computing resources to handle applications that require significant computational power, such as intensive database operations or data analytics, but the new instance still only offers 448 physical cores, which is the same as AWS has offered since May 2021.

Showing demand

The cost for renting this server is more affordable than might be expected, with Liftr suggesting prices will range from around $150 to over $400 per hour, averaging at $263.10. These instances are especially suited for demanding database applications such as SAP Hana and Oracle, justifying their higher pricing tiers due to the performance enhancements they offer.

Tab Schadt, CEO of Liftr , notes, "It's not advantageous for AWS to deploy solutions that won't sell, especially at these price points. They spend significant time and money on their market intelligence. Other companies can benefit from their research about what they are offering and where they offer them at a fraction of that cost."

Initially launched in the East and West coasts of the USA, as well as internationally in Seoul and Sydney, the fast global rollout of this new instance indicates a strong global demand.

Intel's Sapphire Rapids Xeon certainly dominates for now. AMD's top offering achieves a maximum of 512 vCPUs with its 128-core CPUs, limited to dual-socket configurations. However, the upcoming AMD Zen 5C EPYC processors are expected to support up to 768 threads, potentially narrowing the gap with Intel.

Schadt anticipates future growth in this high-performance sector, stating, "Perhaps we'll see larger instances in the near future, showing even more demand for high performance workloads. At the least, we'll keep an eye out to see if and when Azure or other cloud providers respond in kind."

AWS 896 cores

(Image credit: Liftr Insights)

More from TechRadar Pro

Wayne Williams

Wayne Williams is a freelancer writing news for TechRadar Pro. He has been writing about computers, technology, and the web for 30 years. In that time he wrote for most of the UK’s PC magazines, and launched, edited and published a number of them too.