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
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.
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.
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.
GeForce GT 500M Series
|Pipelines||48 - unified|
|Core Speed||740 / 600 MHz|
|Shader Speed||1480 / 1200 MHz|
|Memory Speed||800 / 900 MHz|
|Memory Bus Width||64 / 128 Bit|
|Memory Type||DDR3 (GDDR5)|
|Max. Amount of Memory||1536 MB|
|API||DirectX 11, Shader 5.0|
|Power Consumption||17 Watt|
|Features||PhysX, Verde Drivers, CUDA, Optimus, DirectCompute, OpenCL, DirectX11, OpenGL 4.1|
|Date of Announcement||05.01.2011|