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Cloud Computing has taken commercial computing by storm. However, adoption of cloud computing platforms and services by the scientific community is in its infancy as the performance and monetary cost-benefits for scientific applications are not perfectly clear. This is especially true for desktop grids (aka volunteer computing) applications. We compare and contrast the performance and monetary cost-benefits of clouds for desktop grid applications, ranging in computational size and storage. We address the following questions: (i) What are the performance tradeoffs in using one platform over the other? (ii) What are the specific resource requirements and monetary costs of creating and deploying applications on each platform? (iii) In light of those monetary and performance cost-benefits, how do these platforms compare? (iv) Can cloud computing platforms be used in combination with desktop grids to improve cost-effectiveness even further? We examine those questions using performance measurements and monetary expenses of real desktop grids and the Amazon elastic compute cloud.