open-discussion > M1 vs Intel processor for imaging
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Sep 23, 2022  08:09 PM | Dan McCalley - Medical University of South Carolina
M1 vs Intel processor for imaging
Hi all, 

Our lab is considering updating several of our machines to increase processing power and it seems we have to make a decision between 2 machines: 

Machine 1, Mac Studio (M1 processor): Apple M1 Ultra, 20-core CPU, 48-core GPU, 64 GB RAM, 1TB SSD

Machine 2, Refurbished iMac Pro (Intel processor): Intel, 2.3GHz 18-core Intel Xeon, 128 GB RAM, 1 TB SSD 

We remember a few years ago that the M1 processor was largely incompatible with most imaging packages (e.g. AFNI, SPM, FSL, etc), and I've seen some follow up since then about using the Rosetta emulator to get around this -- but I'm not sure how difficult this is on the day-to-day.

Our general question is: Is the M1 processor still a fairly large hurdle to imaging, even with the Rosetta emulator? We could opt for the older iMac Pro, but our concern is that given it is refurbished, future software updates may soon become incompatible 

Any thoughts or feedback would be very welcome! 


Dan McCalley