THis thread does raise an interesting question. If one were to buy/upgrade a machine for mapping/compiling for Valve games, what would be of greater or lesser importance? Multiple CPU cores? More RAM? Would the process take advantage of multiple Nvidia GPUs? Better to have a high clock rate on a 2 core, or slower clock rate on a quad?
(Not that I've the funds to do this on anything other than my existing desktop. Just curious.)
RAM and processor are the most important things on a computer. For mapping (compiling), a quad core would be better than a faster dual core, but if you're rich a i7 3,2 GHz is your option.
And memory, for all kind of computers, should be at least DDR2 800 MHZ low timmings (don't care too much about capacity, it's the least important thing about the RAM). 1066 MHz DDR2 will make your PC pwn in all ways ( I have Corsair 4 GB 1066 MHz). But again, if you're rich get DDR3 1600 MHz.