Can I choose a specific CPU for my Linode?

Linode Staff

I've made a couple of Linodes and they keep getting AMD CPUs but I really need an Intel. Is there anyway I can pick my CPU when setting up a Linode?

4 Replies

So, there isn't a way to choose a particular CPU when you first create your Linode. This is because our allocation backend tries to spread new Linodes out across the data center to keep from overcrowding hosts. This helps keep things even.

But if you are really in need of some particular hardware that's something that Support can help you with! Just open a ticket on the particular Linode you'd like moved and we will do what we can.

There are a couple of very important caveats here:

1) We cannot guarantee the availability of specific hardware. Sometimes there simply isn't room, particularly for larger plans.

2) We cannot guarantee that your Linode will be able to remain on this host. If you resize the Linode it will be Migrated to a new host. Additionally, in the case of maintenance, emergency or otherwise, you Linode may need to be Migrated.

3) Moving a Linode to a host with a different CPU will entail some downtime. It will need to be powered off for the full duration as its disks are moved and resources allocated. This will take longer for larger plans.

I would also, personally, argue that in a virtualized environment the exact model of CPU that the host is using won't make that much of an impact on performance. This is because all your CPU requests have to be buffered, interpreted and optimized. These layers of abstraction render the actual CPU architecture less important than in a bare metal machine, or your home computer.

Do you agree, vehemently disagree? If so just let us know!

I once opened a support ticket to have a Linode using a dedicated CPU migrated to Intel over AMD. In the ticket, I explained why I believed this would make a difference, comparing my prior Nanode linode on Intel with the dedicated Linode on AMD. Basically, I found that, using a TeamTalk server for voice chatting on real time priority allowed me to have more clarity than before, and though it was just a bit more, it was enough to make things sound far more real to those sensitive to subtleties in audio. Unfortunately, the server's audio streams cut in and out randomly between every minute to half hour, and in addition, there was more latency than there had been on the Intel Nanode Linode.

When I was finally migrated over to an Intel CPU, the application worked perfectly and precisely as I wanted it to work. Performance has been stable since that time, audio has sounded clear and more realistic, and unlike the Nanode Linode, having the TeamTalk application using real time priority didn't cause the dedicated Linode to become extremely slow and unresponsive after a day or so. For my use case, the dedicated CPU on Intel was the best for me.

Some of this, I think I sent to Linode's feedback email address around the same time as I had the ticket open, but I thought it couldn't hurt to put the explanation here, also. For any staff reading this, the ticket number is 11488786, just in case any of them may want to review it again. Use cases in which a particular CPU is required over another for better performance might be rare, but they do exist. For dedicated Linode's, I think selection of a CPU type, whether that be Intel or AMD, is something that would be a useful feature. I would definitely find it useful, as at the moment, if I resize or upgrade, I'll have to potentially go through support to migrate my Linode to Intel again.


I thought I would update this for anyone interested. A couple days ago, I was on the phone with support to migrate a Linode from AMD to Intel. I was warned that more of Linode's fleet is switching over to AMD, and even the individual I was on the phone with agreed that some VoIP applications are sensitive to which type of CPU is utilized.

From that, it would seem that Intel CPU's might become less frequently available for Linodes. I'm hopeful that Bare Metal servers will provide a better CPU selection than the current situation of having support migrate a Linode, then there being no guarantee that you'll land on Intel if it's required. I would also say that most people probably won't have the need to select a specific CPU, but such a thing is still needed in some instances, unfortunately.


Hey Blake. Thanks for sharing - we really do appreciate the feedback. While I'm not privy to which types of CPUs will be available for Bare Metal yet, I can tell you that I passed this along internally for discussion. If you haven't done so already, you can sign up for our Green Light beta program so that you can test out Bare Metal before it hits the market.

For now, I would recommend continuing to request migrations as needed so that we can address the issue on a case-by-case basis.


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