With a reduced TDP rating of 65W for the Athlon II it seems that's this CPU is the better choice compared to the old Phenom based Athlon X2s. AMD also shaved off 15W of the TDP of the Phenom II X2 which is not as much as we had hoped for. We have not forgotten to include the efficiency tests with the new CPUs, and as you can see, Intel keeps superior with it's E5, E7 and E8 lines.
CPU prices went down dramatically over the past few months. The older Phenom based CPUs 7750 and 7850 sell for under €50 and €58 respectively, the new AMD Athlon II 250 will cost about €80,-. The first listings appeared with prices between €85,- and €90,- which you can find here. The Phenom II 550 is already on the market and sells for under €90,- which only €5,- more compared to the Athlon II 250. This is also the same price which Intel is selling its E7300.
As we have proved the Athlon II/Phenom II are faster then the E7 series, except for Cinebench. If you are a gamer, you won't miss the 6MB L3 cache and because the Black Edition has nearly the same price but allows free multiplicator overclocking, it's the obvious choice.
So for the low budget customer we can recommend the new AMD dual-core series even with a higher power-consumption compared to Intel but closer then previous models. Especially the Phenom II 550 is a fierce competition for Intel but both CPUs deserve our Top Value Award.