I5 661 or phenom ii 555


Mar 1, 2010
building a gaming rig 4 d first time...
by what i've learnt the 15 beats d pii 550 anyday but is it really worth $192 ? should i go 4 an i5 n compromise on the gpu or go 4 pii 550 n buy a better gpu ??right now i have a 9400gt gpu is it good enough?(cuz if it is i can go 4 d i5)
thanks 4 d help in advance
btw i'm a little more than a causal gamer


Jan 30, 2010
The 9400GT will play games at a decent resolution, but at lower graphical quality. It is enough for the meantime, while you save money for a more powerful GPU :).

That said, you wouldn't need the IGP of the i5-661, since you have a dedicated GPU. Either you go with the i5-750 (true quad core, but a little more expensive than i5-661) or go AMD. I'm no expert with AMD processors, so someone pick this up for me and suggest a good AMD CPU for gerrytheman's budget.

Pro Llama

Dec 8, 2009
Well the PII 955 is very well suited for gaming and it cost much less overall then an i5-750. The chip will run you $160 and you can get a good board for pretty cheap. The PII 955 performs just like the i5-750 when gaming. If you want to go a little cheaper the PII 720 and PII 555 are both good chips and shouldn’t slow you down too much.

In other word if you are mainly using this pc for gaming and surfing the web the PII 955 will have more than enough power and you can save the extra money to put towards a newer gpu down the road.


Jun 6, 2004
You didn't say where you're buying from, but right now this is what I'm building for a couple friends who slightly more than casual gamers (rough Canadian prices with pricematching)

AMD X2 555 3.2ghz dual core ($110)
Gigabyte GA-770TA-UD3 motherboard ($90)
4Gb G.Skill DDR3 ($115)
5850 Vid card ($300)

+ 640GB Western Digital hard drive, 23" ASUS LED monitor, Win7 64-bit, etc.

I'd never get a cheap PSU, it's the most important part of your computer. Corsair, Antec Earthwatts or TruePower, PC Power & Cooling. I went with the Antec Earthwatts 500W ($70) inside Coolermaster 690 cases ($75) + a couple extra fans.

The important thing that the motherboard has is ACC, that gives you a very good chance of unlocking the 2 extra cores of the X2 555 processor, effectively turning it into a quad core 3.2 X4 955 very easily :) If that doesn't work (the majority of CPUs should unlock, so far I am 100% - 3 for 3 have unlocked, with 3 more shipping this week), you still have a very powerful 3.2 ghz dual core that will overclock easily to 3.8ghz with no voltage increase. The downside I guess to that motherboard is that it only has 1 PCI-E x16 so no crossfire. But that's a non-issue running this card at the resolutions for this monitor for a long, long time. By then they will just build again or just replace the card.

But yeah. That's why I'm doing these X2 555 builds for my buddies, great CPU. :) Total system cost ends up around $1200.


Apr 19, 2010
Don't buy the Phenom II X2 555 BE hoping it'll unlock. The stars must've aligned just right for jevon to have 3/3 unlocked quads.

As for myself, my Phenom II X2 555 was able to unlock to a quad, but the third core was unstable and would not boot Windows. I was still able to unlock the fourth core, allowing me to have an effective tricore system (similar to the Phenom II X3 720 2.8ghz) except with a 3.2ghz stock.

Also, if you plan on oc'ing, I'd recommend getting an aftermarket HSF. I myself am waiting on mine to deliver before I decide to OC... atm, my Phenom idles at 47 degree celcius, which is a bit uncomfortable for my taste.


Oct 29, 2009
I would recommend an Athlon II 630

Real quad for the same price as a dual.

Move up the bus a little to get 3.0Ghz and you are set

+1 on PsychoSaysDie's post.

Tho as I said, Athlon II 630
With the money saved, get a Radeon 5770


Nov 27, 2008
The dual core i5s should never be considered.

I5-750 IS the better gamer (compared to Phenom II) but you need a strong GPU setup to ever see a difference (5970).

+1 Phenom II 955 / HD57*0

If that's over budget check out i3 / Phenom II x3/x2

Remember GPU is much more important than CPU in games. Don't skimp on the GPU for a useless CPU on a gaming machine!