Making sense of the Azure GS2 and DS13v2 VM pricing – Comparing apples to oranges

Recently, while deciding on an Azure VM for a customer’s particular needs, we started comparing the DS_v2 series and GS series VMs. One thing that caught our attention was the rather large gap in monthly pricing between the DS13_v2 and GS2 VMs.
Azure DS12_v2 VM    Azure GS2 VM
The DS13_V2 is either equal or beats GS2 at every level, so why the huge gap in price?
The GS series VMs were advertised as “ideal for applications that are both compute and storage intensive. Relational databases like SQL Server and mySQL, noSQL databases like MongoDB, and data warehouses can all have significant performance gains when run on GS-series.” while the DS_V2 were advertised as ”ideal for applications that demand fast CPUs, better local disk performance, or larger memories, offering a powerful combination for many enterprise-grade applications.”
So the GS should have better performance, right? We figured this justified further digging and benchmarking as we’re talking a price difference of $4000/year for one of our customers.
CPU Benchmark Results
For core/multi core performance, we used Geekbench 3 running 64bit tests.
In the single core benchmark, the GS2 scored 84 points higher. In the multicore benchmark, the DS13_v2 scored significantly higher which wasn’t too surprising as it had double the core count. Full Geekbench results can be found here for the GS2 and the DS13_v2.
Temporary SSD Benchmark Results
For sequential and 4k read/write, we used Crystal Disk Mark
The DS13_v2 scored higher in both Sequential read/write and 4k read/write tests.
CPU Reporting
cpu-z-gs2 cpu-z-ds13v2
The DS13_v2 reported an Intel Xeon E5-2673 v3 @ 2.40ghz cpu while the GS2 reported an Intel Xeon CPU-E5-2698B v3 @ 2.00ghz.
Although the GS2 scores slightly higher in the single instance benchmark, it’s would be hard to recommend it over the DS13_v2 due to the pricing difference. If the single core performance was a deal breaker for our customer, we would look to a different VM all together to get better value out of the money spent.

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