I've been debating this for upwards of a year now, but I'd thought I'd get some current insights. I know this has been asked countless times before, but here's to hoping I can get some personalized answers. I'm looking to either build a moderate server or just go with a Synology 1512/1513 or 1812. I'd like to spend no more than $500-$600 before adding in the hard drive costs. I have a copy of Win 7 Professional I could install on the server, but I alternatively may purchase WHS 2011.
My main motivation for going the WHS route is to be able to use Plex when I'm on the road and would like to access my files for easy playback. It's my understanding that transcoding is bad/nonexistent with the Synology NAS devices, so the server has a clear edge there. I plan on either using a Dune device or putting together a NUC and running XBMC.
My main motivation for going with the NAS is obviously its ease of use. I really don't want to have to spend a weekend trying to figure out why something isn't working as it should. Does this happen often with your server builds? I doubt that I will ever use the maximum space allowed in a NAS, so I don't think expandability is really an issue for me.
With this being said, can I get some thoughts on what is the better way to go? If it's the server route, could someone recommend a case, processor, mobo, psu, etc. that I would need to get everything running?
Thanks in advance!