NVIDIA GeForce GT 520MX vs NVIDIA GeForce GT 540M

NVIDIA GeForce GT 520MX

► remove NVIDIA GeForce GT 520MX

The NVIDIA GeForce GT 520MX is an entry level dedicated laptop graphics card presented in 2011. It is based on the GF119 like the GT 520M, but features a higher core and shader clock rate. Using DDR3, the 64 Bit memory bus may become a bottleneck of the graphics card.

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 520MX has to compete against the Intel HD Graphics 3000 in the current Sandy Bridge processors. Due to the higher clock speeds, the MX should be faster than the GT 520M which was only slightly faster than the HD 3000 but clearly still beyond the faster GT 525M. Therefore demanding games like Crysis 2 or Mafia 2 run only in lowest detail and resolutions fluently. Less demanding games lik Fifa 11 or Sims 3 should be playable even in high detail settings.

Features

As the other 500M series chips, the 520MX 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 GT520MX offers the PureVideo HD technology for video decoding. The included Video Processor 5 (VP5) supports feature set D 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). Compared to the older VP4, the VP5 offers faster decodes at lower power, HD-to-SD transcodes 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 520MX 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.

NVIDIA GeForce GT 540M

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The NVIDIA GeForce GT 540M is a fast middle class graphics card for laptops. It is based on the same chip as the GeForce GT 435M but with slightly higher clock speeds. Furthermore, it supports GDDR5 and 900MHz DDR3 graphics memory. Unfortunately, no models have utilized GDDR5 due to the increase in power consumption and higher prices compared to DDR3 VRAM.

GF108 Architecture

The GT 540M is based on the same GF108 architecture as the older GT 435M. The GF108 stems from the GF100 (Fermi) DirectX 10 architecture. However, it is optimized for the consumer end (gaming) and stripped down to save power. More information on the architecture can be found on our GeForce GT 435M page.

Performance

In general, the performance of the 540M lies between the Radeon HD 5650 and 5730 in our first benchmark tests. Therefore, the 540M is about 10% faster than the GT 435M using DDR3 graphics memory.

Paired with a fast CPU, demanding games of 2010 should run fluently in medium to high details and SXGA (1280x1024) resolution. In our tests, for example, Call of Duty: Black Ops and StarCraft 2 ran fluently in high details and 1360x768. More gaming benchmarks can be found below. Demanding games released in 2011 like Anno 2070 or Skyrim will only run fluent in low to medium detail settings.

Features

A novelty of the GF104/106/108 chips is the support for Bitstream HD Audio (Blu-Ray) output via HDMI. Alike the Radeon HD 5730, the GT 540M can transfer Dolby True HD and DTS-HD bitstream without quality loss to a HiFi receiver.

The GT 540M offers PureVideo HD technology for video decoding using the GPU. The integrated Video Processor 4 (VP4) 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). 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 540M 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 (supported by Mafia 2 and Metro 2033). However, the GPU is not fast enough to calculate PhysX high detail game settings.

Following the current 3D trend, the 540M supports 3D Vision.  It 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 manufacturer. This feature is disabled if the notebook includes Optimus.

The power consumption of the GeForce GT 540M should be similar to the GeForce GT 435M or Radeon HD 5730 and is therefore suited for 15" or larger laptops. Without load, the chip is clocked approximately at 50/101/137 MHz (chip/shader/memory) in 2D mode and 202/405/324 in 3D mode to save power. 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 graphics switching technology is dependent on the laptop manufacturer.

NVIDIA GeForce GT 520MXNVIDIA GeForce GT 540M
ManufacturerNVIDIANVIDIA
GeForce GT 500M Series
GeForce GT 555M compare 144 @ 0.53 - 0.75 GHz128, 192 Bit @ 785-900 MHz
GeForce GT 550M compare 96 @ 0.74 GHz128 Bit @ 900 MHz
GeForce GT 540M 96 @ 0.67 GHz128 Bit @ 900 MHz
GeForce GT 525M compare 96 @ 0.6 GHz128 Bit @ 900 MHz
GeForce GT 520MX 48 @ 0.9 GHz64 Bit @ 900 MHz
GeForce GT 520M compare 48 @ 0.74 GHz64 / 128 Bit @ 800 / 900 MHz
GeForce GT 555M compare 144 @ 0.53 - 0.75 GHz128, 192 Bit @ 785-900 MHz
GeForce GT 550M compare 96 @ 0.74 GHz128 Bit @ 900 MHz
GeForce GT 540M 96 @ 0.67 GHz128 Bit @ 900 MHz
GeForce GT 525M compare 96 @ 0.6 GHz128 Bit @ 900 MHz
GeForce GT 520MX 48 @ 0.9 GHz64 Bit @ 900 MHz
GeForce GT 520M compare 48 @ 0.74 GHz64 / 128 Bit @ 800 / 900 MHz
CodenameN12P-GVRN12P-GS
ArchitectureFermiFermi
Cores48 - unified96 - unified
Core900 MHz672 MHz
Shader1800 MHz1344 MHz
Memory900 MHz900 MHz
Bus64 Bit128 Bit
MemoryDDR3GDDR5, DDR3
Max. Memory1024 MB1536 MB
Shared Memorynono
DirectXDirectX 11, 5.0DirectX 11, 5.0
Technology40 nm40 nm
FeaturesVerde Drivers, CUDA, Optimus, DirectCompute, OpenCL, DirectX11, OpenGL 4.1Optimus Support, PureVideo HD VP4, 3D Vision, 3DTV Play, Bitstream HD Audio, CUDA, DirectCompute, OpenCL, OpenGL 4.0, DirectX 11
Introduced30.05.2011 06.01.2011
Size2/3

3DMark 11 - 3DM11 Performance Score
min: 658     avg: 666     median: 666 (2%)     max: 674 Points
min: 944     avg: 993     median: 989 (3%)     max: 1086 Points
3DMark 11 - 3DM11 Performance GPU
min: 593     avg: 597     median: 596.5 (1%)     max: 600 Points
min: 849     avg: 892     median: 888 (2%)     max: 971 Points
3DMark Vantage
3DM Vant. Perf. total + NVIDIA GeForce GT 520MX
3DM Vant. Perf. total + NVIDIA GeForce GT 540M
3DM Vant. Perf. GPU no PhysX + NVIDIA GeForce GT 520MX
3DM Vant. Perf. GPU no PhysX + NVIDIA GeForce GT 540M
3DMark 2001SE - 3DMark 2001 - Standard
min: 13773     avg: 28170     median: 32969 (34%)     max: 32969 Points
3DMark 03 - 3DMark 03 - Standard
min: 13717     avg: 13769     median: 13782 (7%)     max: 13808 Points
min: 19645     avg: 20670     median: 20701 (11%)     max: 21476 Points
3DMark 05 - 3DMark 05 - Standard
10556 Points (15%)
min: 13276     avg: 15284     median: 15658 (23%)     max: 16166 Points
3DMark 06 3DMark 06 - Score Unknown Settings + NVIDIA GeForce GT 520MX
3DMark 06 - Standard 1280x1024 + NVIDIA GeForce GT 520MX
3DMark 06 - Standard 1280x1024 + NVIDIA GeForce GT 540M
3DMark 06 - Standard 1280x800 + NVIDIA GeForce GT 540M
3DMark 06 - Standard 1280x768 + NVIDIA GeForce GT 540M
Unigine Heaven 2.1 - Heaven 2.1 high
9.3 fps (2%)
min: 13     avg: 13.5     median: 13.4 (3%)     max: 14.4 fps
SPECviewperf 11
specvp11 snx-01 + NVIDIA GeForce GT 540M
specvp11 tcvis-02 + NVIDIA GeForce GT 540M
specvp11 sw-02 + NVIDIA GeForce GT 540M
specvp11 proe-05 + NVIDIA GeForce GT 540M
specvp11 maya-03 + NVIDIA GeForce GT 540M
specvp11 lightwave-01 + NVIDIA GeForce GT 540M
specvp11 ensight-04 + NVIDIA GeForce GT 540M
specvp11 catia-03 + NVIDIA GeForce GT 540M
Windows 7 Experience Index - Win7 Gaming graphics
6.5 Points (82%)
min: 5     avg: 6.5     median: 6.6 (84%)     max: 6.7 Points
Windows 7 Experience Index - Win7 Graphics
min: 4.5     avg: 4.6     median: 4.5 (57%)     max: 4.7 Points
min: 4.5     avg: 5.6     median: 5.8 (73%)     max: 6.7 Points
Cinebench R10 Cinebench R10 Shading (32bit) + NVIDIA GeForce GT 520MX
Cinebench R10 Shading (32bit) + NVIDIA GeForce GT 540M
Cinebench R11.5 Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64 Bit + NVIDIA GeForce GT 520MX
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64 Bit + NVIDIA GeForce GT 540M

Average Benchmarks NVIDIA GeForce GT 520MX → 100% n=12

Average Benchmarks NVIDIA GeForce GT 540M → 142% n=12

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* Smaller numbers mean a higher performance
1 This benchmark is not used for the average calculation

low 1024x768
100%
GeForce GT 520MX:
13.8  fps
med. 1366x768
100%
GeForce GT 520MX:
15.4  fps
high 1366x768
100%
GeForce GT 520MX:
15.2  fps
low 1024x768
100%
GeForce GT 520MX:
42.6  fps
med. 1366x768
100%
GeForce GT 520MX:
15.1  fps
high 1366x768
100%
GeForce GT 520MX:
13  fps
Fifa 13

Fifa 13

2012
low 1024x768
100%
GeForce GT 520MX:
146  fps
med. 1366x768
100%
GeForce GT 520MX:
97  fps
high 1366x768
100%
GeForce GT 520MX:
52  fps
F1 2012

F1 2012

2012
low 1024x768
100%
GeForce GT 520MX:
39  fps
med. 1366x768
100%
GeForce GT 520MX:
34  fps
high 1366x768
100%
GeForce GT 520MX:
30  fps
low 1024x768
100%
GeForce GT 520MX:
33  fps
med. 1366x768
100%
GeForce GT 520MX:
25.3  fps
high 1366x768
100%
GeForce GT 520MX:
20  fps
Torchlight 2

Torchlight 2

2012
low 1024x768
100%
GeForce GT 520MX:
24.3  fps
med. 1366x768
100%
GeForce GT 520MX:
12.6  fps
low 1024x768
100%
GeForce GT 520MX:
75  fps
med. 1366x768
100%
GeForce GT 520MX:
68  fps
high 1366x768
100%
GeForce GT 520MX:
38  fps
med. 1366x768
100%
GeForce GT 520MX:
26.8  fps
low 1024x768
100%
GeForce GT 520MX:
41  fps
med. 1366x768
100%
GeForce GT 520MX:
30.1  fps
high 1366x768
100%
GeForce GT 520MX:
10.3  fps
low 1024x768
100%
GeForce GT 520MX:
20.8  fps
med. 1366x768
100%
GeForce GT 520MX:
14  fps
high 1366x768
100%
GeForce GT 520MX:
10.8  fps
low 1280x720
100%
GeForce GT 520MX:
36.1  fps
high 1366x768
100%
GeForce GT 520MX:
25.1  fps
Anno 2070

Anno 2070

2011
low 1024x768
100%
GeForce GT 520MX:
54.2 55.3 ~ 55 fps
147%
GeForce GT 540M:
77.8 fps 84 ~ 81 fps
med. 1366x768
100%
GeForce GT 520MX:
20.7 21.2 ~ 21 fps
157%
GeForce GT 540M:
31 fps 34 ~ 33 fps
high 1366x768
100%
GeForce GT 520MX:
12.7 13 ~ 13 fps
154%
GeForce GT 540M:
19.4 fps 21 ~ 20 fps
ultra 1920x1080
GeForce GT 540M:
9.6  fps
low 1280x720
100%
GeForce GT 520MX:
31.3 31.4 ~ 31 fps
132%
GeForce GT 540M:
38 44.3 fps ~ 41 fps
med. 1366x768
100%
GeForce GT 520MX:
21.8 22 ~ 22 fps
127%
GeForce GT 540M:
25 31.9 fps ~ 28 fps
high 1366x768
100%
GeForce GT 520MX:
14 16.8 ~ 15 fps
127%
GeForce GT 540M:
17 21 fps ~ 19 fps
ultra 1920x1080
GeForce GT 540M:
12  fps
low 1024x768
100%
GeForce GT 520MX:
11.8  fps
305%
GeForce GT 540M:
35 36.5 fps ~ 36 fps
med. 1366x768
100%
GeForce GT 520MX:
10.5  fps
219%
GeForce GT 540M:
23 23.7 fps ~ 23 fps
high 1366x768
GeForce GT 540M:
17.6 fps 18 ~ 18 fps
Fifa 12

Fifa 12

2011
low 800x600
100%
GeForce GT 520MX:
218  fps
114%
GeForce GT 540M:
248.1 fps  fps
med. 1024x768
100%
GeForce GT 520MX:
107  fps
128%
GeForce GT 540M:
137.1 fps  fps
high 1360x768
100%
GeForce GT 520MX:
86  fps
124%
GeForce GT 540M:
102.2 fps 112 ~ 107 fps
ultra 1920x1080
GeForce GT 540M:
67  fps
F1 2011

F1 2011

2011
low 800x600
100%
GeForce GT 520MX:
66  fps
132%
GeForce GT 540M:
80 94 ~ 87 fps
med. 1024x768
100%
GeForce GT 520MX:
47  fps
136%
GeForce GT 540M:
63 64 ~ 64 fps
high 1366x768
100%
GeForce GT 520MX:
27  fps
167%
GeForce GT 540M:
40 49 ~ 45 fps
ultra 1920x1080
GeForce GT 540M:
16 20 ~ 18 fps
low 1024x768
100%
GeForce GT 520MX:
62.6  fps
133%
GeForce GT 540M:
72.6 93 ~ 83 fps
high 1366x768
100%
GeForce GT 520MX:
26.3  fps
141%
GeForce GT 540M:
37.2 37.6 ~ 37 fps
Dirt 3

Dirt 3

2011
low 800x600
100%
GeForce GT 520MX:
101.2  fps
99%
GeForce GT 540M:
61 82.6 86 98 134.6 138 ~ 100 fps
med. 1024x768
100%
GeForce GT 520MX:
41.4  fps
123%
GeForce GT 540M:
29.6 37.6 45 46 53 54 55.7 fps 61 61 62.5 ~ 51 fps
high 1360x768
100%
GeForce GT 520MX:
27  fps
126%
GeForce GT 540M:
17.6 24 31 33.2 35.5 38 38.9 39 39 39.8 fps ~ 34 fps
ultra 1920x1080
GeForce GT 540M:
12.7 12.7 12.7 13 13 20 ~ 14 fps
low 1024x768
GeForce GT 540M:
24  fps
med. 1366x768
GeForce GT 540M:
15  fps
Crysis 2

Crysis 2

2011
low 800x600
GeForce GT 540M:
55.7 56 56.6 fps ~ 56 fps
med. 1024x768
GeForce GT 540M:
36 36.4 36.4 fps 37.1 fps ~ 36 fps
high 1366x768
GeForce GT 540M:
26.5 26.6 fps 26.6 fps 27 ~ 27 fps
ultra 1920x1080
GeForce GT 540M:
8.9 9 ~ 9 fps
Total War: Shogun 2

Total War: Shogun 2

2011
low 1024x768
GeForce GT 540M:
135.8 141.9 147.8 ~ 142 fps
med. 1280x720
GeForce GT 540M:
11.1 21.7 38.6 ~ 24 fps
ultra 1920x1080
GeForce GT 540M:
6.9  fps
low 800x600
100%
GeForce GT 520MX:
62.6  fps
109%
GeForce GT 540M:
50 60 61 64.4 69 86.1 86.1 ~ 68 fps
med. 1024x768
100%
GeForce GT 520MX:
40.6  fps
138%
GeForce GT 540M:
42.1 49.8 52 54 56 68.1 68.1 ~ 56 fps
high 1360x768
GeForce GT 540M:
35.6 35.8 37.6 41 44 45.7 fps 47 48.9 fps 52.4 52.4 ~ 44 fps
ultra 1920x1080
GeForce GT 540M:
28 fps 28 28 28 29.1 fps ~ 28 fps
Fifa 11

Fifa 11

2010
low 800x600
GeForce GT 540M:
275 385.3 400.2 408.9 408.9 416 417.9 422.4 437.2 438.9 445.2 ~ 405 fps
med. 1024x768
GeForce GT 540M:
154.7 164.1 167.8 168.6 168.6 169.7 175.3 176.2 176.3 178.6 182 182.2 204.9 204.9 208 ~ 179 fps
high 1360x768
GeForce GT 540M:
101.3 107 109.8 110.7 110.9 115.4 116 118.3 119.5 120.6 122 122.1 124 fps 124.3 125.3 fps 129.5 129.5 133 ~ 119 fps
ultra 1920x1080
GeForce GT 540M:
67.5 67.7 68.5 70 70.3 fps 70.4 fps 71 ~ 69 fps
Civilization 5

Civilization 5

2010
low 1024x768
GeForce GT 540M:
39  fps
ultra 1920x1080
GeForce GT 540M:
10.2  fps
Mafia 2

Mafia 2

2010
low 800x600
GeForce GT 540M:
43.6 44 47.3 48.9 50.9 54 55 56 56.9 57 61.6 65 65 ~ 54 fps
med. 1024x768
GeForce GT 540M:
23.1 30 34.3 39 40 41.9 42 42 42.7 42.7 42.7 43.3 fps 45 46.2 49 ~ 40 fps
high 1360x768
GeForce GT 540M:
22.6 27 27.4 30.6 31.6 33.1 33.7 fps 33.9 34 34.8 34.8 34.8 35.2 38.1 39 41 42 ~ 34 fps
ultra 1920x1080
GeForce GT 540M:
20.3 fps 20.9 21 21 23.4 23.9 24.3 25 25 ~ 23 fps
low 1024x768
GeForce GT 540M:
136.6 153.5 167 171.2 178 181.2 182 187 189.7 222.8 ~ 177 fps
med. 1360x768
GeForce GT 540M:
41.4 44 45 fps 46 46 fps 47.4 53 56.8 60.2 62.3 63.5 66.8 ~ 53 fps
high 1360x768
GeForce GT 540M:
28.8 32 32.5 fps 32.7 fps 32.9 fps 33 34 34.6 fps 34.9 35.5 fps 37 38.3 41.5 42.5 44.3 45.3 47.4 ~ 37 fps
ultra 1920x1080
GeForce GT 540M:
17 17.3 fps 18 18 18 18.4 fps ~ 18 fps
low 800x600
GeForce GT 540M:
47.1 48.1 49 49 50.7 51.7 fps 74.4 78.7 81.5 ~ 59 fps
med. 1360x768
GeForce GT 540M:
26.2 27.2 fps 28.1 28.6 fps 29.3 40.5 40.7 41.9 43.5 44.9 ~ 35 fps
high 1600x900
GeForce GT 540M:
14.4 fps 15.1 17.2 18.4 fps ~ 16 fps
ultra 1920x1080
GeForce GT 540M:
5.2 fps  fps
low 1024x768
GeForce GT 540M:
55  fps
med. 1366x768
GeForce GT 540M:
42.6  fps
high 1366x768
GeForce GT 540M:
31.8  fps
ultra 1920x1080
GeForce GT 540M:
14.2  fps
low 1024x768
100%
GeForce GT 520MX:
41  fps
139%
GeForce GT 540M:
53.8 58 59.6 ~ 57 fps
med. 1366x768
100%
GeForce GT 520MX:
31  fps
139%
GeForce GT 540M:
39.4 fps 41.2 fps 42 42.7 43.1 44 fps 44.1 44.3 fps 44.5 fps 44.8 44.8 45.6 ~ 43 fps
high 1366x768
100%
GeForce GT 520MX:
22  fps
141%
GeForce GT 540M:
26 27.3 29.6 fps 30 fps 30.1 fps 31.3 fps 31.7 31.9 31.9 32 fps 32.1 fps 32.1 32.3 32.3 ~ 31 fps
ultra 1920x1080
GeForce GT 540M:
15.5 fps 15.8 fps 15.9 16 fps 16 16.1 ~ 16 fps
low 800x600
GeForce GT 540M:
133.9 133.9 178 ~ 149 fps
med. 1024x768
GeForce GT 540M:
46.1 49.6 49.6 59.3 ~ 51 fps
high 1366x768
GeForce GT 540M:
36.1 36.4 fps