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.


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.


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.

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 compare 96 @ 0.67 GHz128 Bit @ 900 MHz
GeForce GT 525M 96 @ 0.6 GHz128 Bit @ 900 MHz
GeForce GT 520MX compare 48 @ 0.9 GHz64 Bit @ 900 MHz
GeForce GT 520M compare 48 @ 0.74 GHz64 / 128 Bit @ 800 / 900 MHz
Pipelines96 - unified
Core Speed600 MHz
Shader Speed1200 MHz
Memory Speed900 MHz
Memory Bus Width128 Bit
Memory TypeGDDR5, DDR3
Max. Amount of Memory1536 MB
Shared Memoryno
DirectXDirectX 11, Shader 5.0
technology40 nm
Notebook Sizemedium sized
Date of Announcement06.01.2011


3DMark 11 - 3DM11 Performance Score
min: 737     avg: 835     median: 901 (2%)     max: 937 Points
3DMark 11 - 3DM11 Performance GPU
min: 652     avg: 743     median: 799 (1%)     max: 829 Points
3DMark Vantage
3DM Vant. Perf. total +
3DM Vant. Perf. GPU no PhysX +
3DMark 06 3DMark 06 - Standard 1280x1024 +
3DMark 06 - Standard 1280x768 +
SPECviewperf 11
specvp11 snx-01 +
specvp11 tcvis-02 +
specvp11 sw-02 +
specvp11 proe-05 +
specvp11 maya-03 +
specvp11 lightwave-01 +
specvp11 ensight-04 +
specvp11 catia-03 +
Cinebench R10 Cinebench R10 Shading (32bit) +
Cinebench R11.5 Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64 Bit +
- Range of benchmark values for this graphics card
- Average benchmark values for this graphics card
* Smaller numbers mean a higher performance

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 detailed information on the benchmark results, click on the fps number.

Dirt 3

Dirt 3

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

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.
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

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

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..
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..
low 800x600
41.1 fps  fps    + Compare
med. 1360x768
24.6 fps  fps    + Compare
high 1600x900
13.1 fps  fps    + Compare
ultra 1920x1080
4.7 fps  fps    + Compare
» With all tested laptops playable in detail settings low.
low 1024x768
42 43 fps 50.5 fps ~ 45 fps    + Compare
med. 1366x768
27 32.2 fps 37.7 fps 40 fps