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.
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|
|Pipelines||96 - unified|
|Core Speed||600 MHz|
|Shader Speed||1200 MHz|
|Memory Speed||900 MHz|
|Memory Bus Width||128 Bit|
|Memory Type||GDDR5, DDR3|
|Max. Amount of Memory||1536 MB|
|DirectX||DirectX 11, Shader 5.0|
|Notebook Size||medium sized|
|Date of Announcement||06.01.2011|