I'll put it this way. There were pretty neat digital synthesizers (physical modeling, analog modeling) in the 90's along with some soft synths. Heck, FM dates back past '83.
I'm not sure how 2012 ARM compares to 90's intel and I'm not accounting for custom DSP; but,
Wasn't 450Mhz and 64 megs of ram state of the art back then? (http://www.intel.com/pressroom/archive/ ... 082498.htm
I suspect we can do some nice stuff.