I am not sure whether I understand computers anymore. On my desktop PC I have a 1.3GHz AMD my fiances machine as a 3.2GHz Intel P4, when her machine only had 256MB of RAM hers was slower than mine which has 1GB of RAM. It is only since she upgraded hers to 1GB of RAM has hers become as fast as my PC.
I do know that my MacBook with 2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo with 1GB of RAM wipes the floor with both of the machines. I thought I had it figured out and thought the processor had little to do with speed of the machine.
LOL - Not laughing at you , but with you. Yes, they do seem to make it very difficult don't they. Not counting the boxes I have put together for friends, I have built myself a new system every 9-12 months from '95 until '04. During that period of time, if you wanted to play the newest games with all the eye candy turned on, decent frame rates and at a high resolution, you really had to have the latest video card or a whole new system it seemed like.
For you tech guys, "ALL"
of the following is general info according to my aging memory. This is not meant to be a treatise on CPU's, only a "general" response to the above.
With CPU's during the time of your AMD 1.3 the clock speeds between AMD and Intel were basically equivalent. When Intel moved to the P4, this began to shift. AMD was able to achieve similar results as the P4 with slower clock speeds (am not going into why here). Since Intel was the leader in chip sales, AMD really didn't have much choice but to name their CPU's in relation to Intel's clock speed. From the time of the 100Mghz chips up thru the P4 era, at a matching price point between the 2 of them, if you wanted a gaming rig, you were well advised to buy AMD and if you wanted a video rig, then Intel was the way to go. For most other things, office apps and the like, not really too much difference between them. AMD made a big leap over Intel when they came out with the 64 X2 chips. Intel responded with the duo cores, but these still did not match up well with AMD's chips. With the advent of the Core2Duo last year, Intel has once again taken the crown back from AMD. (With 2 CPU's in one core, the step backwards in clock speeds and the corresponding change in the naming convention of their chips, is where the bulk of the confusion comes into play today.) Personally, am only a little anxious to see what AMD's response will be this year. (If you quit reading for 6 months you are behind the technology times again.) My guess is that 90% of computer purchasers do not have enough education about what they are getting and purchase based almost entirely on their budget and visual appeal. Of these, maybe 70% are satisfied with their purchase, primarily just because they don't know (and have not experienced) any better.
Back to your queries, don't know how you are rating one as faster than another - boot times, how long it takes to open a program, how long it takes to encode a video or ....
But her 3.2 definitely will blow the socks off of your 1.3 particularly if all other things are equal. The CPU itself is probably about 2.5 times faster than the 1.3. The Core2Duo in your Mac will be faster at some things than her P4 particularly if she is like my wife, a typical windows user. Just in boot time alone, my desktop on a 9 month old install of XP boots in 27 seconds. Her machine (a Dell and until my MBP, the only off-the shelf computer purchased in this house since '94) gets so slow that she begins complaining every 2-3 months and I have to go clean her machine up again. About the best boot time I can get on hers is 35 seconds, and by the time she is complaining about how slow it is, even her boot time may be up to 50-70 seconds. This has to do with how the system is (not) maintained.
For a good CPU test between your 2 windows machines, download DVD Shrink and try backing up a DVD. My guess is around 30 minutes on the 3.2 and over an hour on the 1.3. I can save you the time of doing this on your MacBook as I have already done so and posted the results here
. As you can see from those results my desktop, a P4 3.4, is literally twice as fast at this task as my MacBook Pro with it's Core2Duo 2.33. The Core2Duo should be about 30% faster according to all the reviews and charts I've looked at, so would think that this has to do more with the mobo and the hard drive differences between the 2 systems. The area where the Core2Duo really shines is in multi-tasking.
Everything comes into play when comparing the speed of one system to another; the CPU, mobo, Ram, video card, video Ram, hard drives, optical drives, etc.... Depending on the thngs you do with your 2 windows systems, all of these other things do come into play, for some things you may want to do on a system will only be as fast as the slowest link. For really the best comparison chart of CPU's use this chart
. The slowest CPU still currently on the chart is the AMD 2800.
As for upgrading your desktop, you will not put that new AMD 64 in your existing motherboard. But yes, IMHO, it is a good chip at it's price point. At this time purchasing a mobo for that CPU that still has AGP rather than PCIe to be able to use your ATI 9800 may be tough (at least I think so, have not really looked for mobos that are still AGP).
Know I didn't help all that much, and maybe you are confused even more (I know I am now), but a book could be written on this subject. There is so much involved (at least for me spending my money on a computer) to know and to learn. I have a lot of friends that come to me for purchasing advice, and I really have to understand their needs and uses before I can make an intelligent recommendation for them. Have recommended to many to just go get a $700 off the shelf desktop that I personally would never have sitting on my desk, but is more than enough machine for them. With some it has been the $700 box and then upgrade the video card for the best price point for them. A few need to step up to the $1500 price range, and over the last 3-4 years have only had 2 friends whose requirements ended up in my suggestion to let me build a high end box similar to what I would build for myself.