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 the default platform for the zone where the instance will run. You can see a list of zones and their default CPU platforms in the Regions and Zones page. Additionally, each CPU Platform is only available for specific machine types.
On Compute Engine, each virtual CPU (vCPU) is implemented as a single hardware hyper-thread on one of the available CPU Platforms. On Intel Xeon processors, Intel Hyper-Threading Technology allows multiple application threads to run on each physical processor core. You configure your Compute Engine virtual machine instances with one or more of these hyper-threads as vCPUs. The machine type specifies the number of vCPUs that your instance has.
The following CPU platforms are available on Compute Engine:
|CPU Platform||Supported Machine Types||Base Frequency (GHz)||All-Core Turbo Frequency (GHz)||Single-Core Max Turbo Frequency (GHz)||Intel Xeon Scalable Processor (Cascade Lake)|
|Intel Xeon Scalable Processor (Skylake)||2.0||2.7||3.5|
|Intel Xeon E7 (Broadwell E7)||
|Intel Xeon E5 v4 (Broadwell E5)||2.2||2.8||3.7|
|Intel Xeon E5 v3 (Haswell)||2.3||2.8||3.8|
|Intel Xeon E5 v2 (Ivy Bridge)||2.5||3.1||3.5|
|Intel Xeon E5 (Sandy Bridge)||2.6||3.2||3.6|
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.