I was wondering if it is at all possible to build and use a server as a regular computer i have been looking at different motherboards for servers and some can support regular PCI x16 GPU's and also vista OS so i think its possible but i'm not sure? any ideas
Workstations would be OK, gaming PC not so much (the FBDIMM aren't really good at that, that is one of the reason Skulltrail never got much attention).
My question would be: why would you want that anyway? As an opposed point-of-view, a regular computer could probably be used as a server as well...
Please note that a server is more defined by the intent, purpose, services, and operating system that the computer runs and not so much the type of hardware used to build the machine. That is to say that you can use enthusiast type hardware to build a server and that you can use workstation/server type hardware as a regular or gaming computer. You might want to think more about what you want to do with the computer and then decide if an all in one enthusiast gaming machine/server will meet your needs or if a dedicated media/file/mail/web/application server would be a better fit.
Not for nothing, if all you want to do is share files and media across a LAN but still be able to play games using that same machine, then build the gaming maching you would like to have and then purchase a hardware RAID controller card and some hard drives to store and serve out your media. If you plan on running Windows or Linux on all your machines, sharing files and media from the hardware RAID controller and a RAID5 array within your gaming machine is easy-peasy.
Silver Rookie said:the reason i am thinking of this is just out of curiosity I'm not to advanced in computer specifics but i just thought that with server/home computer running two processors and 8 DIMM's of ram you could have a pretty fast computer. is this totally off
No, it's not totally off base but since the advent of cheap quad core processors, 64bit operating systems, and the fact that enthusiast class mobos can accept up 12GB RAM, it's not really necessary to build a computer with workstation/server type parts if all you want to do is stream movies, mp3's, and share out files across a home LAN.
Another avenue to explore would be to build both a seperate gaming computer and a home NAS. Google FreeNAS and Openfiler for NAS operating systems. Both FreeNAS and Openfiler have minimal hardware requirements are both run solid and reliably 24/7/365. For example, I've got a NAS for my home LAN running FreeNAS as the OS in a machine that has only a single core Skt775 Celeron @ 1.6GHz with 512MB RAM and using a 512MB Compact Flash card as the OS hard drive. This NAS also has a 3Ware 8506 8-port SATA hardware RAID controller with 5-320GB hard drives for a total of 1.2TB of storage space. As you might be able to tell, FreeNAS is very light and does not require uber hardware to stream media, movies, and mp3's; as a result I was able to use the cash towards the 3Ware controller card and hard drive space.