(I benched my stock 3500+/200 against a P4 Northwood 3.0 OC'd to 3.8/250, and with each equipped with 7800GT's, we were very close; at his stock 3.0, I took him in all non-gpu bound gaming benchmarks...)
It depends on the game, and socket P4 you are talking, but loosely speaking yes. I found the P4 felt more responsive in windows, but there's not a whole lot in it. Gaming really does vary on the game itself. Suggest you look at the "mother of all processor" guides that tomshardware did a while back. They benched EVERYTHING in their usual style...
This is a question, or at least a similar one to what I have been asking myself. What is the level of comparison between the AMD and Intel models? I hear that even though a Pentium may be rated faster in the CPU speed area, the AMD makes up for it in the bus speed and other facets. I am still pretty new to the world of AMD. Due to a motherboard going bad I had recently switched from my previous setup;
P4 3.06ghz Hyperthreaded CPU
Asus P4T533-C mobo
BFG GeForceFX 5900XT OC 128mb
to my new setup;
AMD Athlon64 3200+
Asus A8V Pro mobo
Asus GeForce 6600GT 128mb
It is a very noticable difference, yeah more then the CPU contributed to that. I had a very significant upgrade in gaming performance in HL2, Doom3, SWG, EQ2. Overall I am very happy with my new setup and my eyes have been opened to the world outside Intel (not saying Intel is bad, it is all I used for many years).
I was even able to take the left over parts and replace the wifes old 1ghz AMD system with;