Amazon Web Services has fielded Apple’s M1 processor in a new kind of elastic computing cloud instance: the Mac2.
For $0.65 an hour, the Mac2 provides a dedicated Mac mini with four performance cores, four efficiency cores, a dozen vCPUs, and 16GB of RAM. Bandwidth to Amazon Elastic Block Store reaches 8 Gbps and network bandwidth is 10 Gbps. The only operating system option is macOS Big Sur – a year behind the current version, Monterey.
These specifications suggest that the Mac2 instance type uses standard standard Mac minis.
AWS already offers Intel-powered Macs in the cloud running a six-core Intel Core i7 processor that features a dozen vCPUs and offers 32GB of RAM. But the Intel-powered Mac1 instance costs $1.08 per hour.
The prices mentioned above are for on-demand use. Since the M1 Mac mini sells for $899 when equipped with 16GB of memory, users can consider the discounts AWS offers for one- or three-year commitments to use cloud Macs (and shouldn’t forget the likely need to pay for the cloudy Amazon). storage too). Without these discounts, six weeks of using an M1 cloud instance will cover the cost of purchasing your own enclosure.
Interestingly, the AWS FAQs says the cloud colossus will “monitor customer demand for Reserved Instances,” which could offer an even cheaper way to run cloudy Macs.
AWS hasn’t explained why the M1 is cheaper than the Intel option, but power consumption appears to be the most likely reason. Apple estimates that the M1 uses significantly less juice than the i7.
Mac2 instances are rated as offering “up to 60% better price performance over x86-based Mac EC2 instances for iPhone and Mac app-building workloads”.
Currently, the Mac2 instance type is available in the US East (N. Virginia), US West (Oregon), Europe (Ireland), and Asia Pacific (Singapore) regions of Amazon.
The official launch of the Mac2 instance type means that AWS has four Arm processors in production: the M1 plus three versions of its in-house Graviton processor. ®