Coming up hot on the heels of last week’s Radeon HD 6450 launch, today NVIDIA quietly launched the GT 520, their low-end video card for the 500 series. It’s based on GF119, a GF11x GPU with no immediate analogue from GF10x series, but has already been shipping in mobile products as the GeForce GT 410M and 520M. In NVIDIA’s existing desktop lineup, it should replace the GeForce GT 220.

  GTS 450 GT 430 GT 520 GT 220 (DDR3)
Stream Processors 192 96 48 48
Texture Address / Filtering 32/32 16/16 8/8 16/16
ROPs 16 4 4 8
Core Clock 783MHz 700MHz 810MHz 625MHz
Shader Clock 1566MHz 1400MHz 1620MHz 1360MHz
Memory Clock 902MHz (3.608GHz data rate) GDDR5 900MHz (1.8GHz data rate) DDR3 900MHz (1.8GHz data rate) DDR3 900MHz (1.8GHz data rate) DDR3
Memory Bus Width 128-bit 128-bit 64-bit 128-bit
FP64 1/12 FP32 1/12 FP32 1/12 FP32 N/A
Transistor Count 1.17B 585M N/A 505M
Manufacturing Process TSMC 40nm TSMC 40nm TSMC 40nm TSMC 40nm
Price Point $99 ~$70 ~$60 ~$60


GF119 is largely half of a GF108 GPU, and in the process appears to be the smallest configuration possible for Fermi. In terms of functional units a single SM is attached to a single GPC, which in turn is attached to a single block of 4 ROPs and a single 64bit memory controller. Not counting the differences in clockspeeds, compared to GF108 a GF119 GPU should be half as fast in shading and geometry performance, while in any situations where the two are ROP-bound the performance drop-off should be limited to the impact of lost memory bandwidth. Speaking of which, as with GF108, GF119 is normally paired with DDR3, so with half as wide a memory bus memory bandwidth should be halved as well.

For the GT 520, the nominal clocks are 810MHz for the core and 900MHz (1.8GHz data rate) for the DDR3 memory. As with other low-end products, we wouldn’t be surprised to eventually see core clock speeds vary some. All of the cards launching today are shipping with 1GB of DDR3. And while we don’t have a card in-house to test, based on the performance of the GT 430 we’d expect performance to match if not slightly lag the Radeon HD 6450. Power consumption should also be similar; NVIDIA gives the GT 520 a TDP of 29W, while we’d expect the idle TDP to be around 10W.

The GT 520 is shipping immediately both in retail and to OEMs; as with other low-end products the focus is on OEM sales with retail as a side-channel. NVIDIA is not providing a MSRP for the card, but we’re seeing prices start at $60. It goes without saying that performance is most certainly going to lag similarly priced cards, primarily the GT 430 which can be found for almost as cheap after rebate.

April 2011 Video Card MSRPs
$700 Radeon HD 6990
$320 Radeon HD 6970
  $260 Radeon HD 6950 2GB
$240 Radeon HD 6950 1GB
  $200 Radeon HD 6870
$160 Radeon HD 6850
$150 Radeon HD 6790
  $110 Radeon HD 5770
$50-$70 Radeon HD 5570
$55-$60 Radeon HD 6450
$30-$50 Radeon HD 5450




View All Comments

  • ultimatebob - Wednesday, April 13, 2011 - link

    They come in handy if you want to add an extra monitor to your system, or your on-board graphics chipset isn't compatible with the OS that you're using.

    I found that cards like these come in handy with certain older Linux distributions, where the XOrg drivers for certain Intel integrated video chipsets really suck.
  • dozierc - Wednesday, April 13, 2011 - link

    So which is faster? I see the 520 does have the 430(Fermi) beat but look at the other specs it's half. I just today got the 430 for my low profile computer then saw this article. ;-(
    Technology is going to make me broke.
  • Marlin1975 - Wednesday, April 13, 2011 - link

    No, the 430 beats this. The 520 is a lot slower. Reply
  • wifiwolf - Wednesday, April 13, 2011 - link

    But on the other hand this newer card would have the improvements nvidia did for video playback and bitstreaming - i think it's the only interesting feature for this card. Reply
  • Lolimaster - Sunday, April 17, 2011 - link

    The card is cr@p anyway, want a good HTPC, the real deal? Go for the HD6450.

    Want something to actually play, HD5570 or the soon the launched HD6570. Nvidia is in limbo for the mid to low end market.

    "three gens after" (rebrands) at this garbaga of GT520 is slower than a GT220 (wich was slow at it's time an near the same price of a HD4650 who destroyed it. See, the same pattern, Nvidia lost it.
  • HangFire - Thursday, April 14, 2011 - link

    This product announcement is missing OpenGL version and CUDA support information, not just for Linux but even for Windows. Reply
  • Remingtonh - Saturday, April 23, 2011 - link

    Awesome Chart, Thanks... Reply

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