Thanks for your interest in Alces Flight -
While it's possible to run multi-threaded workflows using R, it's necessary to prepare your code appropriately, and use some suitable multi-threaded libraries for what you want to do. By default, R code runs as a single-thread.
There are a number of multi-threaded libraries which you could look at using - a good overview on parallel programming with R can be found at the R-project.org website at the following URL:
As R is primarily single-threaded, most users should find that modern versions of R available via Flight will deliver close to the maximum performance available from your cloud platform. For a single job, it's possible that a desktop processor with a faster CPU could perform faster than a cloud computing instance, which tend to be hosted by server-grade CPUs instead. However - if you're running lots of different R jobs at the same time, Flight can help you coordinate many different jobs across different nodes to give you more overall throughput than a desktop machine can provide.
Hope that helps -