Believe it or not, I know of a computer that was built in the late 70's that could multiply numbers faster than today's fastest Pentiums can.
Sure, sure, *you* know of this computer, but you'd never reveal your sources, or they have died, or whatever. A useless statement. You're also being disingenuous with your description of how fast it is. It would be impossible for a 4-bit computer to be faster than a 32-bit computer at multiplying 32-bit words. You're also ignoring the issue of clock speed. Yes, we have deep pipelines now, and your hypothetical simple machine might beat a deeply pipelined machine right as the race starts, but it'll eventually be left in the dust as the pipeline fills up.