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


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  • Bremen7000 - Wednesday, April 13, 2011 - link

    It's such a small part of the overall review, but I just wanted to reiterate how extremely useful the Video Card MSRPs chart is on the front page of each video card review you guys have been doing lately. I keep coming back to that chart.
  • SonicIce - Wednesday, April 13, 2011 - link

    dat chart
  • soydeedo - Wednesday, April 13, 2011 - link

    I agree completely.
  • ImSpartacus - Wednesday, April 13, 2011 - link

    Yes, a simple chart, but it's so effective. If you lose track of GPU releases for a few months, such a chart would be absolutely essential.

    Keep it updated Ryan, we like it.
  • Ryan Smith - Wednesday, April 13, 2011 - link

    Thanks for the feedback guys. It's very useful since it's a clear sign to continue producing that chart.
  • marc1000 - Wednesday, April 13, 2011 - link

    yes, it is absolutely essential. very small and very needed.
  • velanapontinha - Wednesday, April 13, 2011 - link

    Hi, Ryan.

    Will there be a review of this card anytime soon? Reviews for mid a low range cards are much more usefull for IT professionals than those of uber high end cards.


  • therealnickdanger - Wednesday, April 13, 2011 - link

    ... and HTPC users!
  • MrSpadge - Wednesday, April 13, 2011 - link

    Performance absolutely s*cks (just look at the specs, it's even going to be slower than the GT220, which had been slow back then). Power consumption is worse than IGPs, as always. Any other possible advantage of this over say a Sandy Bridge IGP would be drivers - and these are similar for all cards.
    The situation is not so clear for a HTPC, though.

  • Ryan Smith - Wednesday, April 13, 2011 - link

    We don't have one immediately planned, but it shouldn't be a problem getting a 520 and testing it.

    Though I'm not sure what as an IT professional you're looking for in such a card.

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