In this article, we will explore the differences between Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS) gp2 and gp3 volume types. The article will help you decide which volume type to use for your EBS volumes.

Overview of Amazon EBS

Before diving into the specifics of gp2 and gp3, let’s provide an overview of Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS). EBS is a highly available and scalable block storage service offered by Amazon Web Services. It enables you to create persistent storage volumes and attach them to Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) instances.

One key feature of EBS is that the volumes are independent of instances, meaning they persist even when instances are stopped or terminated. This provides durability and ensures that your data is safe even in the event of instance failure.

EBS offers a wide range of volume types optimized for different use cases, allowing you to choose the best fit for your workloads based on performance, cost, and other requirements.

By utilizing EBS volumes, you gain the flexibility to store your data independently from your EC2 instances, and you can scale up or down based on your storage needs. This makes EBS an essential component for various applications, including databases, file systems, data warehousing, and containerized workloads.

Now that we have a basic understanding of AWS EBS, let’s explore the specific characteristics and advantages of the gp2 and gp3 volume types.

gp2 vs gp3 Volumes

Performance and Throughput

The gp2 volume type is optimized for a balance of price and performance. These volumes provide a baseline performance of 3 IOPS per gigabyte and can burst up to 16,000 IOPS. Burst performance is accumulated in “burst credits” when the volume is idle, and these credits allow the volume to burst above the baseline. However, if the burst credits are exhausted, the volume’s performance will be capped at the baseline level.

On the other hand, the gp3 volume type is optimized for higher performance and cost efficiency. Unlike gp2, gp3 volumes do not rely on burst credits. Instead, they offer a baseline performance of 3,000 IOPS and 125 MiB/s throughput per volume. Moreover, they allow you to scale IOPS and throughput independently by adjusting the ratio of provisioned IOPS to volume size.

With gp3 volumes, you have the flexibility to provision the desired level of performance for your workload by adjusting the IOPS-to-volume size ratio. This ensures that your application has the necessary performance capabilities while optimizing costs. Moreover, the higher baseline performance of gp3 volumes makes them particularly suitable for workloads that require consistent and predictable performance.


When comparing the cost of gp2 and gp3 volumes, it’s important to consider the specific workload requirements and performance needs of your application.

The pricing for gp2 volumes is based on capacity (per GB-month) and the number of I/O requests made (per million requests). Burst credits for gp2 volumes are accumulated when the volume is idle and can be used to achieve higher performance during burst periods. Burst credits are replenished over time, allowing for sporadic bursts of performance. The cost of gp2 volumes is generally lower than that of gp3 volumes.

On the other hand, gp3 volumes have a different pricing model. The pricing for gp3 volumes is also based on capacity (per GB-month), but the cost includes provisioned IOPS and throughput. With gp3 volumes, you have the flexibility to adjust the ratio of provisioned IOPS to volume size, allowing you to optimize costs based on your specific workload requirements. By accurately provisioning the necessary IOPS and throughput, you can avoid overprovisioning and reduce costs.

It’s important to note that in addition to the volume costs, there may be additional charges for data transfer and backups. Be sure to review the AWS pricing documentation for up-to-date information on pricing details and any additional costs associated with using gp2 or gp3 volumes.

By considering the performance requirements and cost implications of your workload, you can make an informed decision on whether gp2 or gp3 volumes are the most cost-effective option for your specific use case.

You can also check out the AWS EBS gp2 to gp3 Savings Calculator to estimate the cost savings from migration to gp3 volumes from gp2 for your workloads.

Overall Comparison

Feature/Parameter gp2 gp3
Volume Type General Purpose SSD (gp2) General Purpose SSD (gp3)
Baseline Performance 3 IOPS/GB (up to 10,000 IOPS) 3,000 IOPS & 125 MiB/s throughput
Burst Performance Up to 3,000 IOPS (for volumes < 1TB) No burst. Scalable performance
Max IOPS/Volume 16,000 IOPS 16,000 IOPS
Max Throughput/Volume 250 MiB/s 1,000 MiB/s
Scalable Throughput No Yes, from 125 to 1,000 MiB/s
Scalable IOPS No Yes, from 3,000 to 16,000 IOPS
Price (IOPS provisioning) Included in the base price Separate charge beyond baseline
Price (Throughput provisioning) N/A Separate charge beyond baseline
Minimum Volume Size 1 GB 1 GB
Cost Optimization Potentially overprovisioned IOPS due to size Pay only for the performance you need

How to migrate from gp2 to gp3

Migrating from gp2 volumes to gp3 volumes in AWS EBS is a straightforward process that can be completed in a few simple steps. The following steps outline the migration process:

  1. Open the Amazon EC2 console.
  2. Choose Volumes, select the volume to modify, and then choose Actions, Modify Volume.
  3. The Modify Volume window displays the volume ID and the volume’s current configuration, including type, size, IOPS, and throughput. Set new configuration values as follows:
  • To modify the type, choose gp3 for Volume Type.

    • To modify the size, enter a new value for Size.
    • To modify the IOPS, enter a new value for IOPS.
    • To modify the throughput, if the volume type is gp3, enter a new value for Throughput.
    • After you have finished changing the volume settings, choose Modify. When prompted for confirmation, choose Yes.


In conclusion, understanding the differences between gp2 and gp3 volumes in AWS EBS is crucial for optimizing storage performance and costs for your workloads.

EBS gp3 volumes are more cost-efficient compared to gp2 volumes without sacrificing performance and should be the default choice for your EBS SSD Volumes.

Migrating from gp2 volumes to gp3 volumes in AWS EBS is a straightforward process, allowing you to take advantage of the benefits provided by gp3 volumes. By following the outlined steps, you can easily migrate your volumes and start benefiting from the increased performance and cost efficiency of gp3.

By leveraging the capabilities of AWS EBS, you have the flexibility to choose the most suitable volume type for your specific use case, ensuring optimal storage performance and cost-effectiveness in your AWS environment.