Amazon EC2 C5 Instances

Designed for compute intensive workloads with the best price performance in Amazon EC2

Amazon EC2 C5 instances are the next generation of the Amazon EC2 Compute Optimized instance family. C5 instances offer the lowest price per vCPU in the Amazon EC2 family and are ideal for running advanced compute-intensive workloads.  This includes workloads such as high performance web servers, high-performance computing (HPC), batch processing, ad serving, highly scalable multiplayer gaming, video encoding, scientific modelling, distributed analytics and machine/deep learning inference.



High compute performance

C5 instances feature the Intel Xeon Platinum 8000 series (Skylake-SP) processor with a sustained all core Turbo CPU clock speed of up to 3.4GHz, and single core turbo up to 3.5 GHz using Intel Turbo Boost Technology. C5 instances offer higher memory to vCPU ratio and deliver 25% improvement in price/performance compared to C4 instances, with certain applications delivering greater than 50% improvement.  C5 instances provide support for the new Intel Advanced Vector Extensions 512 (AVX-512) instruction set, offering up to 2x the FLOPS per core per cycle compared to the previous generation C4 instances.


C5 instances are powered by a new lightweight hardware-accelerated hypervisor which delivers practically all of the compute and memory resources of the host hardware to the customer's instances.

High performance networking and storage

Next generation Elastic Network Adapter (ENA) and NVM Express (NVMe) technology provide C5 instances with high throughput, low latency interfaces for networking and Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS). C5 instances offer up to 25 Gbps of network bandwidth and up to 14 Gbps of dedicated bandwidth to Amazon EBS. C5 instances also feature significantly higher networking and Amazon EBS performance on smaller instance sizes.  With new C5d instances, local NVMe-based SSDs are physically connected to the host server and provide block-level storage that is coupled to the lifetime of the C5 instance.   

Larger instance sizes

C5 instances introduce a new larger sized instance, c5.18xlarge. They provide 72 vCPU and 144 GiB of memory and deliver 25 Gbps of network bandwidth. It enables customers to effectively consolidate workloads.

Product Details

Model vCPU Memory (GiB) Instance Storage (GiB) EBS Bandwidth (Mbps)
c5.large 2 4 EBS-Only Up to 3,500
c5.xlarge 4 8 EBS-Only Up to 3,500
c5.2xlarge 8 16 EBS-Only Up to 3,500
c5.4xlarge 16 32 EBS-Only 3,500
c5.9xlarge 36 72 EBS-Only 7,000
c5.18xlarge 72 144 EBS-Only 14,000
c5d.large 2 4 1 x 50 NVMe SSD Up to 3,500
c5d.xlarge 4 8 1 x 100 NVMe SSD Up to 3,500
c5d.2xlarge 8 16 1 x 200 NVMe SSD Up to 3,500
c5d.4xlarge 16 32 1 x 400 NVMe SSD 3,500
c5d.9xlarge 36 72 1 x 900 NVMe SSD 7,000
c5d.18xlarge 72 144 2 x 900 NVMe SSD 14,000

Customer stories

Rescale enables customers in the aerospace, automotive, life sciences and energy sectors to run utility supercomputers using the AWS cloud. Ryan Kaneshiro, Chief Architect at Rescale, said, "C5 fully supports NVMe and is ideal for the I/O intensive HPC workloads seen on Rescale's ScaleX® platform. Along with C5's higher clock rate, we look forward to our customers experiencing a significant performance increase vs. C4."
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iPromote provides digital advertising solutions to 40,000 small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). Matt Silva, COO at iPromote, said, “iPromote processes billions of ad serving bid transactions every day. During testing, EC2’s C5 instances improved our application’s request execution time by over 50-percent when compared to our existing C4 instances. The new C5 instances concretely improved our network performance.”
“With the support for AVX-512, the new c5.18xlarge instance provides a 200 percent improvement in FLOPS compared to the largest C4 instance,” said Wil Mayers, Director of Research and Development for Alces. “This will reduce the execution time of the scientific models that our customers run on the Alces Flight platform. The larger c5.18xlarge size with 72 vCPUs reduces the number of instances in the cluster, and has a direct benefit for our user base on both price and performance dimensions.”
Grail is a life sciences company whose mission is to detect cancer early, when it can be cured. “Our platform processes a huge amount of DNA sequencing data to detect faint tumor DNA signals in a sea of background noise,” said Cos Nicolaou, Head of Technology at Grail. “We are eager to migrate onto the AVX-512 enabled c5.18xlarge instance size. With this change, we expect to decrease the processing time of some of our key workloads by more than 30 percent.”

Blog posts & articles

"I’m thrilled to announce that the new compute-intensive C5 instances are available today in six sizes for launch in three AWS regions!
These instances are designed for compute-heavy applications like batch processing, distributed analytics, high-performance computing (HPC), ad serving, highly scalable multiplayer gaming, and video encoding. The new instances offer a 25% price/performance improvement over the C4 instances, with over 50% for some workloads. They also have additional memory per vCPU, and (for code that can make use of the new AVX-512 instructions), twice the performance for vector and floating point workloads..."
Jeff Barr

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