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NVIDIA GeForce GT 520M

NVIDIA GeForce GT 520M

The NVIDIA GeForce GT 520M is an entry level dedicated laptop graphics card presented in 2010. It is based on the GF119 or GF108 core, which are both related to the Fermi architecture. Depending on the version, it features a 64 Bit memory bus and higher clock rates (GF119 version) or a 128 Bit memory bus and slower clock rates. Theoretically, the card also supports fast GDDR5 memory, but due to cost limitations, DDR3 will be used by the laptop manufacturers.

Compared to the GT 420M, the 520M offers only 48 instead of 96 shader cores. 

  • GF108 - core 600/1200 MHz, 128 Bit 900 MHz DDR3
  • GF119 - core 740/1480 MHz, 64 Bit 800 MHz DDR3

Architecture

The GF119 offers 48 ALUs, 8 texture units and a 64 Bit memory interface for DDR3-VRAM. Therefore, it is similar to a half GF108 (GeForce GT 540M) but already manufactured with optimized transistors. As a difference the amount of raster-operation-processors (ROP) stayed the same counting 4. The GF119 is the smalles chip of the Fermi generation and is used for low end laptops.

Performance

As an entry level card, the GT 520M has to compete against the Intel HD Graphics 3000 in the current Sandy Bridge processors. In our tests, the card was only slightly faster, but the better driver support did make a difference. However, demanding games like Battlefield 3 or The Witcher 2 are not playable. Other modern games only run in low details, and therefore gamers wont be pleased with the performance. Low demanding games like Fifa 12, however, are playable with high detail settings.

Features

As the other 500M series chips, the 520M supports Bitstream HD Audio (Blu-Ray) output via HDMI. That means the card is able to transfer Dolby True HD and DTS-HD bitstream-wise without quality loss to a HiFi receiver.

The GT520M offers the PureVideo HD technology for video decoding. The included Video Processor 4 (VP4) in the GF108 chip supports feature set C and therefore the GPU is able to fully decode MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4 Part 2 (MPEG-4 ASP - e.g., DivX or Xvid), VC-1/WMV9, and H.264 (VLD, IDCT, Motion Compensation, and Deblocking). The newer GF119 supports already the next generation VP5 (feature set D) with faster decodes, HD-to SD transcodes, lower power decodes and 4K x 4k resolution H.264 decode support.

Furthermore, the GPU is able to decode two 1080p streams simultaneously (e.g. for Blu-Ray Picture-in-Picture).

Through CUDA, OpenCL, and DirectCompute 2.1 support, the GeForce GT 520M can be of help in general calculations. For example, the stream processor can considerably faster encode videos than a fast CPU can. Furthermore, physics calculations can be theoretically done by the GPU using PhysX (e.g. supported by Mafia 2 or Metro 2033) but the performance wont be sufficient for this.

The power consumption of approximately 17 Watt (including board and memory) allows the usage of the 520M in small laptops. Furthermore, Optimus is supported (if implemented by the manufacturer) for automatic switching to the processor graphics card to save power.

ManufacturerNVIDIA
GeForce GT 500M Series

GeForce GT 555M

144 @ 525 - 753 (Boost) MHz128/192 Bit @ 785-900 MHz

GeForce GT 550M

96 @ 740 MHz128 Bit @ 900 MHz

GeForce GT 540M

96 @ 672 MHz128 Bit @ 900 MHz

GeForce GT 525M

96 @ 600 MHz128 Bit @ 900 MHz

GeForce GT 520MX

48 @ 900 MHz64 Bit @ 900 MHz
GeForce GT 520M 48 @ 740 / 600 MHz64 / 128 Bit @ 800 / 900 MHz
CodenameN12P-GP/LV
ArchitectureFermi
Pipelines48 - unified
Core Speed *740 / 600 MHz
Shader Speed *1480 / 1200 MHz
Memory Speed *800 / 900 MHz
Memory Bus Width64 / 128 Bit
Memory TypeDDR3 (GDDR5)
Max. Amount of Memory1536 MB
Shared Memoryno
DirectXDirectX 11, Shader 5.0
Power Consumption17 Watt
technology40 nm
FeaturesPhysX, Verde Drivers, CUDA, Optimus, DirectCompute, OpenCL, DirectX11, OpenGL 4.1
Date of Announcement05.01.2011
* The specified clock rates are only guidelines for the manufacturer and can be altered by them.

Benchmarks

3DMark 11 - Performance GPU 1280x720
0% 100%
min: 451      avg: 499.8 (2%)     median: 502 (2%)     max: 557 points
3DMark 11 - Performance 1280x720
0% 100%
min: 510      avg: 565 (3%)     median: 568.5 (3%)     max: 632 points
3DMark Vantage - P GPU no PhysX 1280x1024
0% 100%
min: 1188      avg: 1769.4 (3%)     median: 1825 (4%)     max: 1898 Points
3DMark Vantage - P Result no PhysX 1280x1024
0% 100%
min: 1513      avg: 2218.5 (5%)     median: 2280 (5%)     max: 2357 Points
3DMark 06
0% 100%
min: 4432      avg: 4957.2 (13%)     median: 4761 (12%)     max: 5668 Points
3DMark 05 - Standard 1024x768
0% 100%
min: 8461      avg: 9069.7 (25%)     median: 9098 (25%)     max: 9337 Points
3DMark 03 - Standard 1024x768
0% 100%
min: 11351      avg: 12200.8 (8%)     median: 12227 (8%)     max: 13147 Points
3DMark 2001SE - Standard 1024x768
0% 100%
min: 11778      avg: 19118.3 (31%)     median: 20926 (34%)     max: 24651 Points
Unigine Heaven 2.1 - high, Tesselation (normal), DirectX11 1280x1024
0% 100%
min: 6.9      avg: 7.6 (4%)     median: 7.7 (4%)     max: 8 fps
PCMark Vantage - Gaming Score 1024x768
0% 100%
min: 4183      avg: 5256.2 (20%)     median: 4683.5 (18%)     max: 8952 Points
SPECviewperf 11 - Siemens NX 1920x1080
0% 100%
min: 2.34      avg: 2.4 (4%)     median: 2.4 (4%)     max: 2.52 fps
SPECviewperf 11 - Tcvis 1920x1080
0% 100%
min: 0.7      avg: 0.7 (1%)     median: 0.7 (1%)     max: 0.73 fps
SPECviewperf 11 - SolidWorks 1920x1080
0% 100%
min: 5.07      avg: 5.1 (8%)     median: 5.1 (8%)     max: 5.07 fps
SPECviewperf 11 - Pro/ENGINEER 1920x1080
0% 100%
min: 0.79      avg: 0.8 (4%)     median: 0.8 (4%)     max: 0.8 fps
SPECviewperf 11 - Maya 1920x1080
0% 100%
min: 5.41      avg: 5.5 (5%)     median: 5.5 (5%)     max: 5.53 fps
SPECviewperf 11 - Lightwave 1920x1080
0% 100%
min: 6.93      avg: 7.2 (9%)     median: 7.2 (9%)     max: 7.4 fps
SPECviewperf 11 - Ensight 1920x1080
0% 100%
min: 5.29      avg: 5.6 (6%)     median: 5.6 (6%)     max: 5.82 fps
Cinebench R11.5 - OpenGL 64Bit
0% 100%
min: 13      avg: 15 (12%)     median: 15.5 (13%)     max: 15.5 Points
Cinebench R10 - Shading 32Bit
0% 100%
min: 4234      avg: 4982.1 (34%)     median: 4960 (34%)     max: 5794 Points
Windows 7 Experience Index - Gaming graphics
0% 100%
min: 6.4      avg: 6.4 (81%)     median: 6.4 (81%)     max: 6.5 points
Windows 7 Experience Index - Graphics
0% 100%
min: 4.6      avg: 5 (63%)     median: 4.7 (59%)     max: 5.8 points
- Range of benchmark values for this graphics card
- Average benchmark values for this graphics card

Game Benchmarks

The following benchmarks stem from our benchmarks of review laptops. The performance depends on the used graphics memory, clock rate, processor, system settings, drivers, and operating systems. So the results don't have to be representative for all laptops with this GPU. For detailled information on the benchmark results, click on the fps number.

Anno 2070

Anno 2070

2011
low 1024x768
44.4 47.5 ~ 46 fps      Compare
med. 1366x768
17.2 17.7 ~ 17 fps      Compare
high 1366x768
10.8 10.9 ~ 11 fps      Compare
» With all tested laptops playable in detail settings low.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
low 1280x720
25.1 27.6 ~ 26 fps      Compare
med. 1366x768
17.2 18 ~ 18 fps      Compare
high 1366x768
11.4 11.5 ~ 11 fps      Compare
» The benchmarks indicate that the game is not playable in the tested settings.
Battlefield 3
low 1024x768
20 21 ~ 21 fps      Compare
med. 1366x768
11.5 14 ~ 13 fps      Compare
high 1366x768
8.6 11 ~ 10 fps      Compare
» The benchmarks indicate that the game is not playable in the tested settings.
Fifa 12

Fifa 12

2011
low 800x600
196.2  fps      Compare
med. 1024x768
95 95.4 ~ 95 fps      Compare
high 1360x768
23 63 64.9 ~ 50 fps      Compare
ultra 1920x1080
40  fps      Compare
» With all tested laptops playable in detail settings ultra.
F1 2011

F1 2011

2011
low 800x600
66 69 ~ 68 fps      Compare
med. 1024x768
36 43 ~ 40 fps      Compare
high 1366x768
23 24 ~ 24 fps      Compare
ultra 1920x1080
12  fps      Compare
» With all tested laptops playable in detail settings med..
Deus Ex Human Revolution
low 1024x768
55 57.8 60 ~ 58 fps      Compare
high 1366x768
21 22 22.1 26.8 ~ 23 fps      Compare
ultra 1920x1080
7  fps      Compare
» With all tested laptops playable in detail settings low.
Dirt 3

Dirt 3

2011
low 800x600
45.2 67.7 91.5 94.9 ~ 75 fps      Compare
med. 1024x768
29.5 35.6 35.8 42.4 ~ 36 fps      Compare
high 1360x768
18.6 23 23.1 31.1 ~ 24 fps      Compare
ultra 1920x1080
12.6 12.6 ~ 13 fps      Compare
» With most tested laptops playable in detail settings med..
The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings
low 1024x768
15  fps      Compare
med. 1366x768
9  fps      Compare
high 1600x900
6  fps      Compare
» The benchmarks indicate that the game is not playable in the tested settings.
Crysis 2

Crysis 2

2011
low 800x600
30.9 33 ~ 32 fps      Compare
med. 1024x768
20.3 21 ~ 21 fps      Compare
high 1366x768
16 16.2 ~ 16 fps      Compare
ultra 1920x1080
5 5.4 ~ 5 fps      Compare
» The benchmarks indicate that the game is not playable in the tested settings.
Total War: Shogun 2
low 1024x768
62.4 77.5 ~ 70 fps      Compare
med. 1280x720
6.4 6.4 ~ 6 fps      Compare
ultra 1920x1080
3.9 3.9 ~ 4 fps      Compare
» With all tested laptops playable in detail settings low.
Call of Duty: Black Ops
low 800x600
64  fps      Compare
med. 1024x768
38  fps      Compare
high 1360x768
30  fps      Compare
ultra 1920x1080
16.8  fps      Compare
» With all tested laptops playable in detail settings med..
Fifa 11

Fifa 11

2010
low 800x600
162 232 240.9 250.2 252.2 ~ 227 fps      Compare
med. 1024x768
84.8 96 96.5 103.4 123.4 ~ 101 fps      Compare