I have a friend that is looking to build what I would call a server style machine that will provide the following [at least ideally....please advise if this is unrealistic]:
1. House all their media and data files for access by several other PC's in the house simultaneously.
2. House all their media files for wireless streaming to various TV's in the house simultaneously.
3. Provide basic level functionality with programs such as Adobe to edit and rip movies from various media sources.
How will the following meet this overall objective of low price as well as functionality above?
You spend too many money on parts that aren't important for a file server! A file server needs a quality PSU along with a good case so It can stay open the whole day and reliable HDDs to store your data. I would also use a linux distro (debian or Arch maybe).
I'd have to agree...your hardware choices are significant overkill for a file/media server.
I'd choose a very solid power supply and quality hard drives, as suggested. I'm not convinced you'll need a SSD and am quite certain you won't need that much RAM...You would likely be fine with a dual core CPU, file servers don't generally do a ton of processing.
The case is also far less important that it be cool looking or expensive...can be very utility oriented - just needs to be solid and have decent cooling...even the Antec 300 fits that bill.
If you haven't looked at it, you could consider something like Amahi (built on Fedora - yes, I know...being on Fedora worries me a bit too).
Honestly, the requirements for a file server are pretty low. We're virtualizing a file server at work with 2 CPUs and 4GB of RAM dedicated....and even that is probably overkill, but with virtualization, we can overcommit resources because they are shared.
Oh...this will be supporting 100 - 130 users. Our users don't stream from the thing, but they do access a lot of storage throughout the day.
I don't believe that streaming is too CPU intensive, but haven't tested it greatly myself. Transcoding the video on the fly would be CPU intensive (as it would be change the video format), but I don't believe that streaming to a few computer in the house would kill it.
I still think the hardware is overkill for what you are planning...some of the early WHS boxes were pretty moderate hardware and were fully capable of streaming to multiple PCs.
It's completely up to you what you end up getting...