Building a New XP System 2006-02-25 01:18:19 I'm putting together a new PC and debating whether to get a dual core Athlon. This system won't be used much for gaming. It's primary purpose will be video and audio encoding. In particular I do a lot of audio transcoding of ape>flac, flac>wav, wav>flac, wav>mp3, wav>ogg, etc., etc. and would like to assemble the fastest possible machine for the task that I can afford.The machine will have XP Pro installed, 2GB ram, a 10kRPM Raptor for the system drive.I'd like to know whether anyone has any thoughts as to the benefits of a dual core system. I realize that probably none of the encoder/decoders that I run can take advantage of the multiple CPUs, but I need to be able to use the machine without noticing much if any degradation during the transcoding process. My current P4 3.0 Northwood with 1GB of ram gets fairly swamped during most large encoding/decoding tasks.Also, thoughts and advice on the benefits of larger L2 CPU caches (say 1MB vs. 512kB), and thoughts on optimizing the hard disk subsystem for extensive large file processing operations are more than welcome.