Is a Phenom II 555 a good choice for non-gamer - parent?

I've got a Core i7 system game / productivity PC myself < first build >

But I'm wanting to build a PC for my father as my second build. My pops is not tech savy - and don't think he intends to ever be - but uses a PC for light web surfing - and Word Processing / Excel spreadsheet / etc. I want to build as modern and fast a PC as reasonable - while not blowing out a budget on technology he'll never use.

I found a deal with a Phenom II 555 BE and an MSI 785G-E53 AM3
motherboard for free with he purchase of CPU. ( $100 bucks for the two )

* I've only owned Intel - and curious if this would this be a good CPU / motherboard for home use of a non-gamer ? < trying to get something fast - with possible room for growth of interest - or upgradability - and the AM3 socket leaves a path >. I can't justify spending 200 bucks on a CPU and another $150 for this build based on my father's usage. The other option would be wait for a good combo price on a core i3 at Frys hopefully at a similar price point.

* How will this CPU perform compared to a E2200 2.2 ghz < Pentium Dual Core > with 4 GB DDR2

* What are the odds that I can unlock a core or 2 of the the CPU with this motherboard - BIOS if I want to.

I've only used the basic features of a BIOS before. Havent' overclocked or unlocked cores like this - but would like to try - and learn if this MOBO will let allow it. My gut says this will be a good choice - but wanted some assurances since I think of AMD as a Gamer CPU - and this is definitely not a gaming machine.

Also - without gaming - should I still go with 4 GB ram - or would 2 GB be more than enough for the above listed function.

Thanks in advance

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  1. Best answer
    the 555BE matches the performance of a E8400, so it definitely fast enough for desktop usage. In fact, an Athlon X2 should even cut it.

    The unlock rate for 555s are really high, and that 785 would be able to unlock it. Just enable ACC in the BIOS and you should see 4 cores if the chip is unlockable.

    I would suggest 4GB of RAM, but the fact is 2GB would be perfectly enough, it may be a bit slower when you have 50 tabs open on firefox and trying to watch a video, but the difference is barely noticeable.

    Finally, consider a cheap SSD maybe, for $75 a 32GB one for the system drive would get rid of lots of the random little slowdowns most people complain about.
  2. That combo should serve well for the planned purpose -- also figure the onboard video chipset (4200) should be fine so no need to purchase a video card -- so with that a decent HDD ( Newegg has the WD caviar Bluee 500GB on sale for $40 ) a cheap DVD\CD drive and a case\psu and you should be set for pretty cheap.

    As far as RAM 2GB would probably be plenty for his usage (can always add more if you find you need it later)
  3. Thats an excellent deal for $100. It would serve your father well.

    I have a simular setup for my wife but using an AthlonII x240 (2.8ghx) and it handles Win7 home quite well with only 2gb of ram. I have found it to be a quite capable box for the $229 I spent total on it. LOL. It handles all her MS Office '10 apps easily, and the integrated video even has enough power to do light gaming such as Facebook games, Luminary (runs this excellently), and Wow on lower graphics settings; to name a few.

    you won't even need to overclock it.
  4. Looks good, but don't settle for a cheap PSU; they can up and die for no apparent reason, taking other parts of your system with them. You can find an Antec 380W Earthwatts or Corsair 400-CX for around $40.
  5. Best answer selected by JessieJ.
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