With my budget in hand, I set out to start picking my components. For a fleeting moment, I got the notion that I might be able to use a Skylake processor and still somehow manage to afford a decent graphics card as well. That lasted for all of 30 seconds, until my budget brought me back to Earth and I accepted the reality of the situation. With Skylake off the table, and since I happened to have an extra $100 for hardware, I decided to go back to the Q1 2015 $700 build and see what I could do to improve upon it. The chief complaints from that build seem to be the lack of an SSD, a lackluster motherboard, and the poor choice of power supply. Let's see if I can manage to do any better.
The focus of my build is on gaming, so this means forgoing the possibility of a Skylake or Haswell i5 in order to shift what little money I have into funding the graphics card.