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NVIDIA GeForce GT 525M

The NVIDIA GeForce GT 525M is a relatively fast mid-range laptop graphics card and the successor to the GeForce GT 425M. It is based on the GF108 core as part of the Fermi architecture. Therefore, it supports DirectX 11 and OpenGL 4.0.  Compared to the GT 425M, core clock rates of the GT 525M have been increased by about 7 percent. 

GF108 architecture

The GF108 core of the GT 525M is related to the GF100 core found in the GeFore GTX 480M and offers 96 shaders and a 128 Bit memory bus for DDR3 VRAM. Except for the memory controllers, the GF108 can essentially be considered a halved GF106. Therefore, the architecture is not directly comparable to the old GT215 (e.g., GeForce GTS 350M) or GT216 (e.g., GeForce GT 330M) cores.

Unlike the GF100, the smaller GF104, GF106, and GF108 cores were not only shortened, but also considerably modified. In contrast to the GF100, which was designed for professional applications, these latter chips target the consumer market. They feature more shaders (3x16 instead of 2x16), more texture units (8 instead of 4) and more SFUs per streaming multi-processor (SM). As there are still only 2 warp schedulers (versus 3 shader groups), Nvidia now uses superscalar execution in order to utilize the higher amount of shaders per SM more efficiently. In theory, the performance per core should be greatly improved over previous generations.

In worst case scenarios, the performance of the Fermi architecture can also be worse than expected. The ECC memory protection, which is important for professional applications, was completely omitted and the FP64 hardware was shortened (only 1/3 of the shader are FP64-capable and thereby only 1/12 of the FP32’s performance). Because of these cutbacks, the size of the SM  grew only by 25% despite the higher number of shaders and larger warp schedulers with superscalar dispatch capabilities.

Due to the different shader architectures and the higher clock rate of the shader domain, the core count of Nvidia Fermi cards can not be directly compared to AMD cores of the Radeon 5000 series (e.g. HD 5650).

Detailed information on the GF104 architecture (and by extension the GF106 and GF108) can be found in the desktop GTX 460 article by Anandtech.

Performance

The gaming performance of the GT 525M is similar to the GT 425M as the core clock rate differs only by 7%. Therefore, the gaming performance of the GT 525M is sufficient for medium detail settings in modern games like Battlefield Bad Company 2. Less demanding games should run in high detail settings. The best resolution to choose is 720p or lower due to the limited performance. Benchmarks and comparison charts on the 3D performance can be found below  or on The dedicated GT 425M benchmarks page is a great source as well due to the similarity between both GPUs.

Features

A novelty of the GF104/106/108 chips is the support for Bitstream HD Audio (Blu-Ray) output via HDMI. Similar to the Radeon HD 5730, the GT 525M can transfer Dolby True HD and DTS-HD bitstream without quality loss to a HiFi receiver.

The GT525M offers the PureVideo HD technology for video decoding. The included Video Processor 4 (VP4) supports feature set C and allows the GPU 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).

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 525M can be of help in general calculations. For example, the stream processor can encode videos considerably faster than can a modern CPU. Furthermore, physics calculations can be done by the GPU using PhysX (e.g., supported by Mafia 2 or Metro 2033).

According to Nvidia, the 525M includes support for 3D Vision. This enables the laptop to send 3D content (3D games, 3D Web Streaming, 3D photos, 3D Blu-Rays) to a built-in 3D-enabled screen or an external 3D TV if supported by the laptop manufacturer. However, this feature is automatically disabled if the laptop includes Optimus.

The power consumption of the GeForce GT 525M should be similar to the GT 425M and is therefore suited for 15” laptops. Furthermore, the 500M series supports Optimus to automatically switch between the integrated graphics card from Intel and the Nvidia GPU. The implementation of the Nvidia power-saving feature is completely dependent on the laptop manufacturer.

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-GE
ArchitectureFermi
Pipelines96 - unified
Core Speed *600 MHz
Shader Speed *1200 MHz
Memory Speed *900 MHz
Memory Bus Width128 Bit
Memory TypeGDDR5, DDR3
Max. Amount of Memory1536 MB
Shared Memoryno
DirectXDirectX 11, Shader 5.0
Power Consumption25 Watt
technology40 nm
Notebook Sizemedium sized
Date of Announcement06.01.2011
* 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: 652      avg: 742.9 (3%)     median: 799 (4%)     max: 829 points
3DMark 11 - Performance 1280x720
0% 100%
min: 737      avg: 834.6 (5%)     median: 901 (5%)     max: 937 points
3DMark Vantage - P GPU no PhysX 1280x1024
0% 100%
min: 2373      avg: 2927.4 (6%)     median: 3230 (6%)     max: 3258 Points
3DMark Vantage - P Result no PhysX 1280x1024
0% 100%
min: 3238      avg: 3750.1 (8%)     median: 3839.5 (8%)     max: 4072 Points
3DMark 06
0% 100%
min: 6069      avg: 7056.7 (18%)     median: 7058.5 (18%)     max: 8558 Points
3DMark 05 - Standard 1024x768
0% 100%
min: 11799      avg: 13307 (36%)     median: 13768 (37%)     max: 14509 Points
3DMark 03 - Standard 1024x768
0% 100%
min: 14843      avg: 17618.2 (12%)     median: 19070 (13%)     max: 19146 Points
3DMark 2001SE - Standard 1024x768
0% 100%
min: 25685      avg: 25685 (42%)     median: 25685 (42%)     max: 25685 Points
Unigine Heaven 2.1 - high, Tesselation (normal), DirectX11 1280x1024
0% 100%
min: 9.9      avg: 11.5 (6%)     median: 12 (6%)     max: 12.3 fps
PCMark Vantage - Gaming Score 1024x768
0% 100%
min: 4676      avg: 5224.3 (20%)     median: 5251.5 (20%)     max: 5648 Points
SPECviewperf 11 - Siemens NX 1920x1080
0% 100%
min: 1.74      avg: 2.3 (4%)     median: 2.4 (4%)     max: 2.78 fps
SPECviewperf 11 - Tcvis 1920x1080
0% 100%
min: 0.69      avg: 0.7 (1%)     median: 0.7 (1%)     max: 0.84 fps
SPECviewperf 11 - SolidWorks 1920x1080
0% 100%
min: 4.9      avg: 5.7 (9%)     median: 5.8 (9%)     max: 6.38 fps
SPECviewperf 11 - Pro/ENGINEER 1920x1080
0% 100%
min: 0.95      avg: 1 (5%)     median: 1 (5%)     max: 1.02 fps
SPECviewperf 11 - Maya 1920x1080
0% 100%
min: 2.07      avg: 4.1 (4%)     median: 3 (3%)     max: 7.37 fps
SPECviewperf 11 - Lightwave 1920x1080
0% 100%
min: 9.07      avg: 9.3 (12%)     median: 9.2 (11%)     max: 9.65 fps
SPECviewperf 11 - Ensight 1920x1080
0% 100%
min: 7.18      avg: 8.2 (8%)     median: 8.5 (8%)     max: 8.99 fps
SPECviewperf 11 - Catia 1920x1080
0% 100%
min: 2.89      avg: 3.5 (5%)     median: 3.3 (5%)     max: 4.32 fps
Cinebench R11.5 - OpenGL 64Bit
0% 100%
min: 17.81      avg: 20.5 (17%)     median: 22.4 (18%)     max: 22.74 Points
Cinebench R10 - Shading 32Bit
0% 100%
min: 3409      avg: 4441.3 (30%)     median: 4531 (31%)     max: 5451 Points
Windows 7 Experience Index - Gaming graphics
0% 100%
min: 6.5      avg: 6.6 (83%)     median: 6.6 (84%)     max: 6.6 points
Windows 7 Experience Index - Graphics
0% 100%
min: 4.7      avg: 5.7 (72%)     median: 5.7 (72%)     max: 6.6 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.

Dirt 3

Dirt 3

2011
low 800x600
97  fps      Compare
med. 1024x768
41  fps      Compare
high 1360x768
25  fps      Compare
» With all tested laptops playable in detail settings med..
Crysis 2

Crysis 2

2011
low 800x600
51  fps      Compare
med. 1024x768
34.5  fps      Compare
high 1366x768
25.4  fps      Compare
ultra 1920x1080
8.5  fps      Compare
» With all tested laptops playable in detail settings low.
Call of Duty: Black Ops
low 800x600
53 77.7 fps ~ 65 fps      Compare
med. 1024x768
36 48 fps 54.6 fps 56.4 fps ~ 49 fps      Compare
high 1360x768
32 40.8 fps 44.9 fps 45.9 fps ~ 41 fps      Compare
ultra 1920x1080
20.5 fps 26.4 fps ~ 23 fps      Compare
» With most tested laptops playable in detail settings high.
Fifa 11

Fifa 11

2010
low 800x600
303.9 327.1 fps 367.8 413.8 ~ 353 fps      Compare
med. 1024x768
126.8 155.9 173.7 fps 182.8 ~ 160 fps      Compare
high 1360x768
83.7 105.3 111.7 fps 114.7 ~ 104 fps      Compare
ultra 1920x1080
62.8 63 fps ~ 63 fps      Compare
» With all tested laptops playable in detail settings ultra.
Mafia 2

Mafia 2

2010
low 800x600
59.8  fps      Compare
med. 1024x768
36.5 39.8 40.1 ~ 39 fps      Compare
high 1360x768
28.8 31 31.4 ~ 30 fps      Compare
ultra 1920x1080
18.6 18.8 ~ 19 fps      Compare
» With all tested laptops playable in detail settings med..
StarCraft 2
low 1024x768
161 175.3 190.9 200.3 fps ~ 182 fps      Compare
med. 1360x768
31 33.9 fps 41.6 fps 42 fps 47.9 59.2 ~ 43 fps      Compare
high 1360x768
25 fps 26 29.7 fps 30.7 fps 34.5 41.4 ~ 31 fps      Compare
ultra 1920x1080
16 fps 17.5 fps ~ 17 fps      Compare
» With most tested laptops playable in detail settings med..
Metro 2033
low 800x600
41.1 fps  fps      Compare