New machine specs?

Hi all,
I need to build a new acad computer to replace
the aging P4 which means I have several questions:
1. how many cores/threads does the current acad
2. of the following, which is more important?
cpu speed
number of cores/threads
amount of ram
speed of video card
speed of hard drive subsystem
3. Is there a big difference among scsi, ide or sata?
4. Does raid make sence for acad?
thanks for any feedback,
Reply to
***** charles
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