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Are parallel simulations in the cloud worth it? Benchmarking my MBP vs my Workstation vs Amazon EC2

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If you tend to do lots of large Monte Carlo simulations, you’ve probably already discovered the benefits of multi-core CPUs and parallel computation. A simulation that takes 4 weeks without parallelization, can easily be done in 1 week on a quad core laptop with parallelization. However, for even larger simulations reducing the computation time down from e.g. 8 months down to 2 months is where you either, start to think about reducing your simulation study, or getting more CPU power. I prefer the latter option (yeah, I know it’s not always an option…), and often perform larger runs on Amazon EC2 instances, and more daily largeish runs on my workstation. Recently, I saw this post by Max Kuhn: While you wait for that to finish, can I interest you in parallel processing? where he compared computers with 4 to 10…
Original Post: Are parallel simulations in the cloud worth it? Benchmarking my MBP vs my Workstation vs Amazon EC2