Databases are generally one of the few disk intensive programs out there, so they will be most responsive to the speed of the HDD. A compiler like VisualStudio would be CPU and RAM that you want to worry about. I haven't kept up with a lot of the advancements in VisualStudio for the past 6-7 years, but it does seem like they have been making a pretty big investment in making sure that it is able to make good use of multi-core CPUs. However, compiling a program is kind of an odd ball. For bigger programs with a large number of source files, you'd probably be better off with more cores, but if you only have a handful of source files, you would want clock speed.