New dual-core AMD processors performed very well in 3D games. It is especially true for Phenom II X2 550, which L3 cache helped it outperform not only Pentium E6300 and Core 2 Duo E7400, but often also Core 2 Duo E7500. As a result, Phenom II X2 550 may be considered an excellent budget dual-core CPU for gaming. As for Athlon II X2 250, it didn’t do as remarkably in games, as its elder brother. However, nevertheless, it still outperforms its 65nm predecessor, Athlon X2 7850, quite significantly – by 13-17%. Although the new Athlon II X2 250 is still not fast enough to catch up with Core 2 Duo.
Moreover, we have to say that many contemporary games have already learned to use more than two processor cores efficiently enough. That is why triple-core Phenom II X3 710 working at 2.6GHz frequency may often offer better performance than dual-core 3GHz CPUs based on the same microarchitecture.