The Mac2 instance consists of the M1 SoC with 8 CPU cores, 8 GPU cores, 16GiB of memory, and a 16 core Apple Neural Engine. The Mac mini with 16GB RAM and 256 SSD storage costs $899.
The M1 Mac2 instance is a cheaper option than AWS's Mac1 instance, which uses Apple's earlier Intel-based Mac mini and costs $1.083 an hourly. It provides a dedicated host for about $790 a month and features an Intel Core i7 CPU with 6 cores and 32 GiB RAM.
AWS says the Mac2 instances offer up to 60% better price performance over Mac1 instances for iPhone and Mac app build workloads.
Mac2 instances support macOS Big Sur 11 and macOS Monterey 12 as Amazon Machine Images (AMIs).
Stormacq said the M1 handled the clean, build, archive, and unit tests on a sample project he wrote 47.8% faster than the Mac1 instances.
AWS's new FAQ for the EC2 M1 instance indicates they're currently only available in four regions, including US East (N. Virginia), US West (Oregon), Europe (Ireland), and Asia Pacific (Singapore).
The advantage of the x86 Intel Mac instance is wider availability spanning 12 regions, including US East (Ohio, N. Virginia), US West (Oregon), Europe (Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Ireland, London), and Asia Pacific (Mumbai, Seoul, Singapore, Sydney, Tokyo).
"Customers such as Pinterest, Intuit, FlipBoard, Twitch, and Goldman Sachs have seen up to 75% better build performance, up to 80% lower build failure rates, and up to 5x the number of parallel builds compared to running macOS on premises," AWS says in the FAQ.