Mac users appear sanguine on Apple's move to Intel processors which begins next year.

A recent Macworld Online poll saw a fairly even split, with the majority of readers who voted being happy to wait a while until they buy a new Mac, though one-in-four readers seemed ready to rack up their credit card a couple of notches right now.

We asked: "Dual-core G5 or wait till 2007 for Intel?"

In total 1,174 Macworld Online readers voted. The results follow:

I need more power now, so I'll upgrade: 285 votes, 24 per cent

I need more power, but will wait: 350 votes, 30 per cent

I have all the power I need for now: 462 votes, 36 per cent

Not sure: 113 votes, 10 per cent

Comments were variable. Some readers warned against being first in line to buy a new Intel Mac. "The Intel one could be absolutely out of this world but it's a total step into the unknown - and its six months or more away," said one.

Two unknowns confound the question

Others cautioned that the poll is impossible to answer with any accuracy. This is because it asks voters to decide between Apple's new graphics powerhouse, the Power Mac Quad, and Intel-driven Macs for pro users that won't even ship until 2007.

"I think that no one can answer that question truthfully until we know what specifications the new Intel-based Macs are going to have."

The reader also warned that while the emulation software (Rossetta from Transitive Technology) may promise a lot, its efficacy hasn't yet been tested. This may cause some Mac users to hold back a while yet.

"One other issue to take into account is how much PowerPC software you have. Rossetta may be able to run it all, but the benefits of the Intel machine may not be appreciated until you are using Intel binaries."

Hanging fire, but tempted

Despite such concerns, some readers are prepared to wait for the future generation Mac: "I'll be trying to resist buying any replacement Macs before the MacTels arrive as the new range should have more longevity," one wrote.

"I think I'll hang in there until Intel Macs are up and running," one reader wrote, adding that any new Macs purchased in the interim would be "more of an interim" purchase than is usual when buying Apple's computers. He believes customers may delay upgrading their Macs a "little longer than usual".

The discussions may all change soon, with the Intel Macs potentially offering a stable platform for other operating systems, a level of connectivity never before seen.

"I'll wait for the Intel Macs, so that I can tri-boot Mac OS X, Windows, and a '386' flavour of Linux," a far-sighted, tech-savvy reader giggled.