I'm going to be building a new system soon and it's been quite a while since I put one together so I'm out of the loop. The system is going to be used primarily for basic internet browsing, some video editing/encoding just homemade stuff of our kid using WAX, some photo editing in GIMP, and casual gaming our monitor supports up to 1680 x 1050 and thats fine with us.
I need help deciding between an Athlon II X3 Rana 3.0GHz, or a Phenom II X2 550 Callisto 3.1Ghz. They are withing $13.00 of each other and I don't know if the extra core or the improved cache(plus whatever else is better about Phenom) will provide more benefit for our uses. Also feel free to recommend anything else at the same price point.
The Rana is a better way to go, as it does have the extra core. The advantage of the 550 is that it can be unlocked. So then you will basically have a 955, in a sense. So if your willing to take the chance the 550 is the way to go. But if your not going to try unlocking then go with the Rana, as its not 100% it'll unlock.
Here are some reviews Tom's Hardware did with the Calisto and Rana http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/athlon-ii-x3,2452.h...