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Between more RAM and a bigger hard disk I'd always pick more RAM. On my development machine I have a very minimal setup (i3, no desktop environment, Emacs, compiler, debugger etc.) and not more than a couple of big repositories checked out (Linux, Hotspot). I can see why this might not work for other kinds of development setups though.

I also use i3 with vim and a browser as my setup, but I would always go for SSD more then anything. The whole machine feels snappier when compiling and running stuff, although I do back it up with 8GB of ram.

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