back to article Amazon lashes Nvidia's GRID GPU to its cloud: But can it run Crysis?

Amazon has chugged Nvidia's new virtualized GPU technology to spin-up a new class of rentable instances for 3D visualizations and other graphics-heavy applications. The "G2" instances, announced by Amazon on Tuesday, is another nod by a major provider to the value of Nvidia's GRID GPU adapters, which launched in 2012. These …


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  1. Khaptain

    Bitcoin dilemma solution

    I wonder if it would be a good platform for resolving the Bitcoin mining dilemma. Those GPU units can usually handle serious number crunching routines.

    1. Steve Todd

      Re: Bitcoin dilemma solution

      Probably not, no. Bitcoin mining has moved well beyond GPU compute power, first to FPGAs and now to ASIC processing where the hashing algorithms are implemented in physical hardware and they are able to achieve upwards of 1G hash/sec

  2. Dr. Mouse

    Colour me impressed

    Looking at that, if you are a casual gamer it would be seriously worth considering using a G2 for your gaming needs. 50p/hour on a machine with that spec... Plus you should be able to use it anywhere you have a decent internet connection, even from a cheapo tablet.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Colour me impressed

      Not sure if it can run games, previously I am sure they couldn't. Also, even if it can, whilst it may be good for visualisations, it probably wont be good enough speed wise to play games on, the main reason being lag, but i guess it depends on what games you want to play, anything requiring a real time connection is going to suffer from input lag I would expect. MIght be interesting to try it though!

      1. Dr. Mouse

        Re: Colour me impressed

        "it probably wont be good enough speed wise to play games on, the main reason being lag"

        There was an interesting piece I read about that (it may even have been on el Reg). IIRC it claimed that the lag would be at least as good as modern consoles (at the time). It would not be good enough for a hard core PC gamer, but good enough for a casual gamer.

      2. ElNumbre

        Re: Colour me impressed

        If you could use technologies like VMView PCoIP or Citrix HDX, you could probably make yourself a reasonable platform for gaming, however, by the time everything is licensed up, you'd probably be better off buying a gaming PC. Unless you're setting up an OnLive type service, where I could see it being beneficial.

  3. Ralph B

    What's it for?

    a new class of rentable instances for 3D visualizations and other graphics-heavy applications

    I think I'm missing something here, because I don't understand who would want to use a cloud-based GPU. Surely the network lag would negate any benefit of the super-fast graphic processing.

    The only application I can think of would be something like off-line rendering of CG animated movie scenes or suchlike.

    What else? Medical imaging maybe ... ?

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: What's it for?

      It would be fast enough for 3D visualisation; it's not a game, you're not looking for a competitive advantage of few milliseconds. The powerful graphics are so that large assemblies of hundreds or thousands of parts can be accurately viewed, not to shunt frames out a rate of 60 per second.

      The advantages are that you can rent the software by the hour, you are not limited by the RAM of your client machine so large assemblies can be viewed smoothly, and when you are ready to render (or simulate) you can throw more CPU/GPUs at it nearly instantly. Also, engineers in different locations can work collaboratively on the same model.

    2. roselan

      Re: What's it for?


      Archicad users would love that, trust me. Even on some today's monster, some rendering take hours. And that's without the fanciest effects (raytracing etc). But architects need to render something 2 or 3 time a year only. They would be happy to be off spending 6k on a computer that works only when it decides to, or some handy geek is around.

      Adobe could use it for it's cloud too, or even as option in poser/gimp/pixlr/etc.

      That's the main potential usage I see at least.

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: What's it for?

        Exactly: Why build your own render farm at great expense if it's sitting idle most of the time?

        Renders often come towards the end of the job as the deadline approaches... having them done in half an hour instead of overnight can save a lot of stress.

        1. Dr. Mouse

          Re: What's it for?

          Found it:

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Amazon storm.

    Password brute force service.


  5. Gordan

    But can it run Crysis?

    Sure it can. Grid K2 is essentially a GTX690 without the video output ports (I have a GTX690 modified into a Grid K2 in the ESXi test box under my desk). How well it will run it depends on how many clients you are running off a single GPU.

    As a rough comparison, a single Quadro 6000 (essentially a clocked down and shader reduced GTX480) on ESXi vSGA managed about 6 simultaneous 800x600@25fps Borderlands sessions (rendering and encoding into video). Of course, you need a client end that can decompress the desktop video stream coming off the server in realtime.

    1. more coffee

      Re: But can it run Crysis?

      "How well it will run it depends on how many clients you are running off a single GPU."

      Can GPUs be shared on Grid VCA? Last I heard it's one VM per GPU.

  6. tojb

    Scientific computing, eg molecular dynamics. They list AMBER, a popular MD code for biomolecules, as an example application that has been benchmarked so that must be pretty much what they are expecting people to use it for.

  7. Ralph B

    Key Question

    How much would one have to pay Amazon to bitmine the ransom for the CyptoLocker lads?

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