Google Cloud Platform
Compute Engine

Machine Types

Machine types determine the virtualized hardware resources available to your instances, including the memory size, virtual CPU count, and maximum persistent disk capability of each instance. A single virtual CPU maps to a single hardware hyper-thread on the host CPU running your instance.

There are two categories of machine types: predefined and custom machine types. Predefined machine types have a system-defined number of vCPUs and memory size, and are charged a set price that is described in the pricing page.

Custom machine types allow you to choose the number of vCPUs and the amount of memory that an instance has. Custom machine types are billed according to the number of vCPUs and size of memory you select. For pricing information, see custom machine type pricing.

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Predefined machine types

Predefined machine types are divided into different classes, and are managed by Google Compute Engine. Each machine type has its own pricing and is billed separately. For pricing information, review the price sheet.

Available machine types include:

  • Standard machine types
  • High-CPU machine types
  • High-memory machine types
  • Shared-core machine types

See the specific machine types in the respective sections below.

To quickly view a list of all available machine types, you can always run:

gcloud compute machine-types list

Standard machine types

Machine name Description Virtual CPUs1 Memory (GB) GCEUs2 Max number of persistent disks (PDs)3 Max total PD size (TB)
n1-standard-1 Standard 1 CPU machine type with 1 virtual CPU and 3.75 GB of memory. 1 3.75 2.75 16 10
n1-standard-2 Standard 2 CPU machine type with 2 virtual CPUs and 7.5 GB of memory. 2 7.50 5.50
n1-standard-4 Standard 4 CPU machine type with 4 virtual CPUs and 15 GB of memory. 4 15 11
n1-standard-8 Standard 8 CPU machine type with 8 virtual CPUs and 30 GB of memory. 8 30 22
n1-standard-16 Standard 16 CPU machine type with 16 virtual CPUs and 60 GB of memory. 16 60 44
n1-standard-324 Standard 32 CPU machine type with 32 virtual CPUs and 120 GB of memory. 32 120 88

1For the n1 series of machine types, a virtual CPU is implemented as a single hardware hyper-thread on a 2.6GHz Intel Xeon E5 (Sandy Bridge), 2.5GHz Intel Xeon E5 v2 (Ivy Bridge), or 2.3 GHz Intel Xeon E5 v3 (Haswell).

2 See Google Compute Engine Units.

3Persistent disk usage is charged separately from machine type pricing

432-core machine types are available only in Ivy Bridge and Haswell zones.

High-memory machine types

High-memory machine types are ideal for tasks that require more memory relative to virtual CPUs. High-memory machine types have 6.50GB of RAM per virtual CPU.

Machine Name Description Virtual CPUs1 Memory (GB) GCEUs2 Max number of persistent disks (PDs)3 Max total PD size (TB)
n1-highmem-2 High memory 2 CPU machine type with 2 virtual CPUs and 13 GB of memory. 2 13 5.50 16 10 (64 in Beta)
n1-highmem-4 High memory 4 CPU machine type with 4 virtual CPUs, and 26 GB of memory. 4 26 11
n1-highmem-8 High memory 8 CPU machine type with 8 virtual CPUs and 52 GB of memory. 8 52 22
n1-highmem-16 High memory 16 CPU machine type with 16 virtual CPUs and 104 GB of memory. 16 104 44
n1-highmem-324 High memory 32 CPU machine type with 32 virtual CPUs and 208 GB of memory. 32 208 88

1For the n1 series of machine types, a virtual CPU is implemented as a single hardware hyper-thread on a 2.6GHz Intel Xeon E5 (Sandy Bridge), 2.5GHz Intel Xeon E5 v2 (Ivy Bridge), or 2.3 GHz Intel Xeon E5 v3 (Haswell).

2 See Google Compute Engine Units.

3Persistent disk usage is charged separately from machine type pricing

432-core machine types are available only in Ivy Bridge and Haswell zones.

High-CPU machine types

High-CPU machine types are ideal for tasks that require more virtual CPUs relative to memory. High-CPU machine types have one virtual CPU for every 0.90 GB of RAM.

Machine name Description Virtual CPUs1 Memory (GB) GCEUs2 Max number of persistent disks (PDs)3 Max total PD size (TB)
n1-highcpu-2 High-CPU machine type with 2 virtual CPUs and 1.80 GB of memory. 2 1.80 5.50 16 10
n1-highcpu-4 High-CPU machine type with 4 virtual CPUs and 3.60 GB of memory. 4 3.60 11
n1-highcpu-8 High-CPU machine type with 8 virtual CPUs and 7.20 GB of memory. 8 7.20 22
n1-highcpu-16 High-CPU machine type with 16 virtual CPUs and 14.4 GB of memory. 16 14.4 44
n1-highcpu-324 High-CPU machine type with 32 virtual CPUs and 28.8 GB of memory. 32 28.8 88

1For the n1 series of machine types, a virtual CPU is implemented as a single hardware hyper-thread on a 2.6GHz Intel Xeon E5 (Sandy Bridge), 2.5GHz Intel Xeon E5 v2 (Ivy Bridge), or 2.3 GHz Intel Xeon E5 v3 (Haswell).

2 See Google Compute Engine Units.

3Persistent disk usage is charged separately from machine type pricing

432-core machine types are available only in Ivy Bridge and Haswell zones.

Shared-core machine types

Shared-core machine types provide one virtual CPU that is allowed to run for a portion of the time on a single hardware hyper-thread on the host CPU running your instance. Shared-core instances can be more cost-effective for running small, non-resource intensive applications than standard, high- memory or high-CPU machine types.

f1-micro Bursting

f1-micro machine types offer bursting capabilities that allow instances to use additional physical CPU for short periods of time. Bursting happens automatically when your instance requires more physical CPU than originally allocated. During these spikes, your instance will opportunistically take advantage of available physical CPU in bursts. Note that bursts are not permanent and are only possible periodically.

Machine name Description Virtual CPUs1 Memory (GB) GCEUs2 Max number of persistent disks (PDs)3 Max total PD size (TB)
f1-micro Micro machine type with 1 virtual CPU, 0.60 GB of memory, backed by a shared physical core. 1 0.60 Shared CPU, not guaranteed 4 3
g1-small Shared-core machine type with 1 virtual CPU, 1.70 GB of memory, backed by a shared physical core. 1 1.70 1.38

1For the n1 series of machine types, a virtual CPU is implemented as a single hardware hyper-thread on a 2.6GHz Intel Xeon E5 (Sandy Bridge), 2.5GHz Intel Xeon E5 v2 (Ivy Bridge), or 2.3 GHz Intel Xeon E5 v3 (Haswell).

2 See Google Compute Engine Units.

3Persistent disk usage is charged separately from machine type pricing

432-core machine types are available only in Ivy Bridge and Haswell zones.

Custom machine types

If none of the predefined machine types match your needs, you can independently specify the number of vCPUs and the amount of memory for your instance.

Custom machine types are ideal for the following scenarios:

  • Workloads that are not a good fit for the predefined machine types that are available to you.
  • Workloads that require more processing power or more memory, but don't need all of the upgrades that are provided by the next larger predefined machine type.

It costs slightly more to use a custom machine type than an equivalent predefined machine type, and there are still some limitations in the amount of memory and vCPUs you can select. Read creating an instance with a custom machine type for all the details.

Google Compute Engine Units (GCEUs)

GCEU (Google Compute Engine Unit) is a unit of CPU capacity that we use to describe the compute power of our machine types. We chose 2.75 GCEUs to represent the minimum power of one virtual CPU (a hardware hyper-thread) on our Sandy Bridge, Ivy Bridge, or Haswell, platforms.