I'm a little ways from working on this (waiting for Sandy Bridge possibly Ivy Bridge) however It's never too early to ask.
I currently have a core2duo with 4 gigs of memory around 2 gigabytes of hard drive space (this is expandable).
When I look to do my new build that PC will be around 3.5 years old, it still runs well but like most on this forum I would imagine I like new toys. What I would like to do though is turn my old PC into a home server and essentially just use it as a storage PC for myself and my GF. My new build I was looking at just installing 1 SSD drive (the size will depend on pricing when I start building) but would imagine minimum 120 gigs.
I'm curious what people think of doing something like this, or if it would even work. I've built 2 PC's before but have just gone the conventional route. Would I be able to access files quick enough through my home network to play games that are installed on my storage pc? Or am I better off just getting a motherboard with a ton of Sata ports (which I believe most have at this point) and installing all the storage drives in my new build?
I took an off-lease Dell GX280 (P4 2.8GHz) and turned it into my home server with Windows Home Server and 4 HDDs of various sizes. I had to add a PCI SATA adapter because the mobo only had 2 x SATA. It's been running great with no problems. I stream HD video to my HTPC, music all over the house, have it backup everything, etc. It's plenty fast. It doesn't take very much horsepower to serve files. I think it's been up and running for around 2 years now?
Of course, it's not going to be as energy efficient as building new with say a Supermicro D510 board, etc. (which didn't exist at the time) but look at the cost of replacing what you have vs. the energy savings of new and I would guess it would take several years to make up the cost savings realized by a whole new server. That's what keeps me from replacing mine -- wanting a new toy isn't a good enough excuse .
I think I'll try to setup 3 1 tb hard drives in raid 5. I'll store all my music, movies, t.v. shows, photos etc. on it. Hook it up to my t.v. and surround sound system etc and basically make it a multimedia pc.
Anyone have any suggestions for raid 5? or if someone thinks of an altnerative. In regards to raid 5 I am aware it is slower for writing but reading is fine. I don't really plan on buying a dedicated Raid card due to the price.