Originally Posted by royceb
Reading these guides got me thinking - is it possible to combine an HTPC and File server in one box like the Silverstone SST-GD08B ? How would that work with the operating system if I was running both a HTPC and file server? Would I need two OS's (say Windows 7 for the HTPC and WHS for the file server drives)? Or should I think about having one HTPC box and a seperate for the file server?
Disregarding the choice of box (doesn't matter and up to personal preference plus expandability etc) . . .
W7 / W8 / W8.1 all work just fine as a server and htpc. They all allow 20 maximum inbound SMB connections, so if you want to serve your HDDs to more than 20 clients at once then you would need to step up to a server OS
You can run the file server and a great htpc with ease on an i3/5/7. As far as the serving part is concerned, you can serve files from raspberry pi level processors without issue. As far as the htpc requirements, those depend on your preference for integrated or dedicated graphics, post and pre processing like SVP and MadVR, as well as the desire for 2D, 3D, etc.
The other portion that might be on it's way out with the increased power/resolution of smartphones and tablets is transcoding for said smartphones and tablets. If you want to transcode to multiple phones or tablets at once you'll probably want to stay i5 or above. Given that a new N7 can just about handle it's own decoding and rendering on 5G n wifi, the point I made on "might be on it's way out" may be worth considering. My SGS4 can actually play plenty of 1080 stuff over wifi with MX Player. I'm thinking that with the refinements in 802.11ac and upcoming SGS5 and other superphones/tablets that the need for heavy transcoding will be diminishing soon. That being said, there's no time like the present and you probably want something to work today rather than one possible view of the future
Some people prefer to run WHS or other server OS for their file server. If you have a good place and can spare the expense, it is a good option to just stick all the noise in a dedicated area and run it headless
As far as, can it be done? Fileserver / HTPC all in one, yes that's how I'm running mine this very instant. I'm in the *slow* process of a rebuild which will move the fileserver off on it's own. It will still be running 8.1 pro rather than a server os. It's easier IMO and meets my needs