hey napster! want to give me one of your 4 hard drives??
the speed of the hard drive actually will affect the speed of your computer. say you have a 5400rpm laptop drive. well my 10,000 rpm desktop raptor is going to boot up and load faster than your laptop will. RAM size will affect speed but only to a point. More RAM is only good for computers who require it. Say i just bought a brand new dell computer(meh) with 512 ram. Its perfectly clean so it will most likely boot up in under 20 seconds. Now my friend has a custom built computer with 2 gig of ram. his boots up in less than a minute. Why slower? because of the amount of space left on the HDD, how many apps and progs you have to open, and how clean your hdd really is.
hoped this helped.
as far as a program, use CPU-Z or SUPER PI to test cpu benchmarks.