This week's giveaway is in the EJB and other Java EE Technologies forum. We're giving away four copies of EJB 3 in Action and have Debu Panda, Reza Rahman, Ryan Cuprak, and Michael Remijan on-line! See this thread for details.
You're not going to have a problem with those specs.
However, two things would greatly improve your experience, with relatively minor cost.
1. Bump up the memory to 2 Gigs. Memory is getting cheaper, and memory is typically the biggest bottleneck in these systems.
2. Think about a second hard drive. Hard drives are getting cheaper, and quite often your processor is faster than data can be fed to it from the hard drive. If you add a second 60 gig hard drive, you'll double your spindles, and greatly improve access.
Going for a bigger hard drive isn't the right thing to do. You're much better off having two 60 gigs, than having one 120 Gig.
In fact, I'd downgrade the processor to a 2.5, if it meant getting more memory or more hard drive spindles.
I alternate between two machines. My laptop is a Fujitsu N3510 with a 1.73Ghz Pentium M and 1GB of RAM. My desktop is an HP/Compaq dc7011s with a P4 at 2.8Ghz and 512Mb of RAM. Both are fine running Eclipse, Weblogic 8.1 SP5, Firefox, SmartCVS, JEdit and other apps simultaneously. I question Kameron's claim that adding a second hard drive would increase performance. One would either have to configure a RAID to stripe data across both drives (to take advantage of the spindles) or configure your apps and data so that both drives are used (i.e. applications on one drive, data on the other). In any case, on a desktop system where data access is more than likely linear (i.e. loading an app or reading a bunch of source for compiling) as opposed to random (i.e. a file server) I doubt that a second drive would boost performance noticibly.
One spec that people seem to rarely quote, and yet that makes an enormous difference, is bus speed. The difference between a 100MHz and 200MHz FSB is huge. Cheapo systems will have a seemingly "fast" processor, but inferior motherboard and chipset with a slow FSB.
Simply adding a hard drive alone won't take advantage of the extra spindles. The extra hard drive would need to be use properly.
Doing things like keeping systems files on one drive, and a page file on the second, or installing a development tool on one hard drive, but keeping the workspace and code on a second hard drive would all be required to take advantage of the extra hard drive.
I have 3.1 ghz and 2 gig memory at home. Coupled with a faster network, it runs circles around my little Dell laptop at work. I honestly don't know the CPU on the laptop, 1 gig memory. It works fine except when virus scan decides Eclipse is an attack every time it looks at a file. MacAfee can run 99% CPU all day on a full rebuild.
A good question is never answered. It is not a bolt to be tightened into place but a seed to be planted and to bear more seed toward the hope of greening the landscape of the idea. John Ciardi