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AMD Phenom II X2 555 or 550BE

Okay so I'm building my first computer (for gaming), and I need to keep it $750 or lower. I've been deciding between these two processors, and even though it's only a $10 difference, I'd like to here someone else's opinion besides my fanboy anti-intel friend.
Basically, I've narrowed my search between the standard AMD Phenom II X2 555 dual core, and the AMD Phenom II X2 550 Black Edition. Here's the two cards on tiger direct:

555 - http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=5719246&CatId=4919
550BE - http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=798984&CatId=4433

The 555 is $10 more, but from my friend's opinion is harder to overclock, whereas with the 550 I can overclock it to run better and save $10.

Now, a 3rd processor comes into play IF it's worth the extra money. I was looking at the Intel i3-2100, but it costs a little more. My friend preaches daily that intel is a workstation only processor, and both of those AMDs will smoke it when running games. However, from what I've read on this forum that's not always the case. If the i3 will run games better, and is worth the cash, or you know of a cheaper/better equivalent, please let me know.
Here's the i3 on tiger direct:
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=7295297&CatId=6983

Thanks in advance for any help, I'd really appreciate it.
7 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about phenom 550be
  1. Best answer
    AFAIK, the Pentuim G850 owns the X2 555. Take it into consideration.
    http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/cpu/display/pentium-g850-g840-g620_4.html#sect0

    Also, $750 could easily get you into a Core i3 2100 territory. Just check my sig. $800 build has a i5 2500k + HD6950.
  2. save yourself the time and just buy this, the 1100t smokes any of those processors.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16883227371&Tpk=ibuypower%201100t
  3. Don't listen to your friend. Indeed, i3 2100 beat those dual core even quad core 955. IMO, its worth the money.
  4. i swear and gurunteed you that i3 2100 is better than both even it can beat 955BE as well.
    http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/88?vs=289
    2100 vs 955
    2100 better
  5. the 550BE is C2 stepping while the 555 is C3 so the 555BE will overclock better. The i3 is a better gaming CPU though.
  6. pro-gamer said:
    i swear and gurunteed you that i3 2100 is better than both even it can beat 955BE as well.
    http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/88?vs=289
    2100 vs 955
    2100 better


    Now, I don't exactly know the significance of all the tests done on that link, but I noticed many of them where a lower score is better, the 955BE beats out the i3. However when running games, the i3 won every time. That's where I was questioning whether it was worth the cost. Then I put it up against the 555BE and the i3 just killed it. I'm now leaning towards the i3 much more than before, thanks so much everyone for the help. However if cost becomes an issue, I'll probably go with the 555. But as for now, I'm trying to work my other costs around the i3 :)
  7. Best answer selected by tree319.
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