So I really didn't NEED a new computer, however I am starting to have issues with my old build. Probably the motherboard or PSU or both. I am not interested in figuring it out or sitting here and waiting for it to blow up. It's had a good run and I'm sick of having some big giant tower with tons of bays and loud fans and all that. So I set out with the plan to make a good value build and something that should work well within my needs for the foreseeable future. First issue was establishing what I need versus what I want. I could spend forever researching components and just end up getting nowhere so I had to make a decision. So what I determined was below.
Use: Office work, Adobe Lightroom, Casual gaming (FO4, Heroes of the Storm, 1 year or older games on Steam I still haven't played)
Price: Cheap as possible, since this computer is more of a desire than a need.
Form Factor: Small, decided on Mini-itx
Additional: Use some of current components that work including : 1 SSD, 2 HDs, and possibly the 750Ti video card that I have in my current PC.
I tried my best to abuse discounts and I did pretty well in the end. I bought the mobo and CPU on jet.com using a 20% off code plus a $20 Amex credit. PSU was the same way on amazon with it going on sale plus using a Discover credit. All in all I think I did pretty well. I put the cost of the hard drives in there but I already owned them. I think $600 for this build would be considered a solid deal.
CPU: Intel Core i5 6500 - I settled on Skylake mostly because I looked back at pricing on previous intel generations of processor and the prices don't fluctuate that greatly. So since I figured I was going to exploit a first purchase on jet.com plus a statement credit from AMEX I might as well go new. This processor seemed to be the best value processor out there. I didn't see the point of spending 20 more bucks for a 6600 and originally I was going to get an i3. Sure the i3 could have fit my needs but I feel a little more future proof with an i5. I also looked at getting a K series processor for a while but it's a lot of upfront cost. Sure it might last me longer but this i5 should be just fine.
Mobo: Gigabyte H-170 Wifi Ultra Durable - There really aren't too many mini-itx options for Skylake. I thought about getting a Z series board for a while, just in case I wanted to upgrade later and also use faster DDR-4 ram. I talked myself out of it which was probably a good idea. Board seems good, I like having the usb C and the m2 slot available. I could care less about wireless but it's nice to have I guess. Seems very solid and I can't believe how small the thing is, I'm big fan of mini-itx.
Ram: DDR4 at the time was pretty much all the same price. It had good reviews and I tested it and both sticks look good.
SSD and HDs - I just used what I had in my old PC. SSD isn't very old but was limited in my old system because of SATA II. I can already tell how much faster the HD is with SATA III. The mechanical HDs I've had for years (~5 or more) both are refurbished and work great.
Video Card - Sapphire R9 280 Dual-X - Well I was going to use my PNY 750 TI OC however this deal came up and for some reason or another I couldn't pass it up (basically an impulse buy). This card looks like it will be a nice bump up from the 750Ti and do just fine since I will only be gaming at 1080p for the foreseeable future. It's pretty big (using the 750TI as reference, which is small), and it uses some decent power but it's nice and seems quieter than the 750TI.
PSU - EVGA G2 550 Watt PSU - I wanted a solid PSU that would be reliable. All the reviews of this PSU were great. I like the ECO mode where the fan doesn't run under low load. The quality on this thing is top notch, also the packaging was really nice. Seems like a really great product.
Case - Thermaltake Core V1 - Saving the best for last. Ever since I saw this case I planned on purchasing it. I didn't want a DVD drive, I don't have a need for any expansion (PCI E cards or anything else). I just really don't need something like an ATX size computer. The case is compact but easy to work in. I mean all the panels come off, so running cables is easy. I don't know if I will really need the exhaust fans in the back but better safe than sorry. Very happy with this case and would buy another if I ever needed it.