When you start a VM instance on Compute Engine, the instance uses one of the CPU platforms available on Compute Engine. If you do not actively specify a desired CPU platform, the instance uses whichever platform is the default for the zone where the instance will live. You can see a list of zones and their default CPU platforms in the Regions and Zones page.
The following CPU platforms are available on Compute Engine:
- 2.6 GHz Intel Xeon E5 (Sandy Bridge)
- 2.5 GHz Intel Xeon E5 v2 (Ivy Bridge)
- 2.3 GHz Intel Xeon E5 v3 (Haswell)
- 2.2 GHz Intel Xeon E5 v4 (Broadwell)
- 2.0 GHz Intel Xeon (Skylake)
If you need your VM instance to run on a specific platform, you can specify a minimum CPU platform so that the VM will never run on a platform older than the one you specify and if available, will always run on the platform you choose. For more information on specifying a minimum CPU platform, read the Minimum CPU Platform documentation.