The Cheap the Fast and the Ridiculous

A guide to AWS EC2 instance sizing for DCS.

Hi Folks,

I thought I'd share some considerations on choosing an AWS EC2 instance size for DCS.

The Cheap

Whilst an SSD is only recommended the alternative in the cloud is some sort of network mapped storage which is just too slow. The cheapest EC2 instance that I could find with a physically attached SSD large enough to accommodate DCS is the i3.large.

The Fast

As I understand it, the way DCS has been programmed means that it doesn't make the best use of multiple cores. To work around this we can choose an ec2 z1d instance that is optimised for clock speed and single threaded performance.

The Ridiculous

AWS seems to be happy to keep adding resources as long as we're willing to pay. At the top end is the z1d.metal with 48 vCPUs and 384GB of memory.
This doesn't necessarily translate to game performance though, especially since DCS doesn't appear make good use of multiple cores. Hopefully future versions of DCS will scale better with more cores.

Summary

I tend to stick to the i3.large. More expensive options might result in a better experience, but to avoid waste its necessary to monitor that the additional resources are actually being used by DCS. I'll also just point out that when hosting in AWS that the ec2 cost isn't the only cost, with the next most significant cost being data.

Cheers,

Noisy