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Palit GeForce GT 520 1GB
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Date 17th June 2011
Author DiGiTaL MoNkEY
Editor James "Agg" Rolfe
Manufacturer Palit

Introduction, Features, Package

Today we take a look at Palit's entry level GeForce GT 520 graphics card and compare it to AMD's popular integrated Radeon HD 4250 graphics solution, most commonly incorporated into mainstream 8-series motherboards. We compare its Blu-ray decoding abilities, and find out how it copes with a variety of DirectX 9, 10 and 11 games and applications. So is a dedicated entry-level graphics card worth the effort over an integrated solution? Let's find out!

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Palit's GeForce GT 520 1GB measures in at approximately 145 millimetres in length (5.7 inches), 168mm including the heatsink, and requires a minimum of 300W or greater system power supply (card TDP is 29W). Cooling is provided by a large dual-slot aluminium fin array that allows for efficient heat transfer and dissipation. No fan is included in this design, purely relying on your case's internal airflow to help dissipate any heat. Note that the quite tall passive heatsink takes up two slots, which could pose a problem for some tight enclosures.

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As with the majority of mainstream NVIDIA graphics cards it features support for NVIDIA's 3D Vision technology for 3d video, photo and blu-ray playback, CUDA technology, PhysX acceleration and Microsoft DirectX 11 game support, as well as a variety of video enhancement technologies under the NVIDIA PureVideo HD umbrella. More information about these technologies can be found here.

Inside the box we find a quick start manual and a software/driver disc for installation. No unnecessary accessories are included as it is a fairly entry-level card, and has a modest set of power draw requirements, not requiring any extra power connectors. And while the card is able to be installed as a half-height card when you disconnect the VGA ribbon, in the box a low profile bracket wasn't included. Nevertheless, they are fairly easy to find if required for a few bucks at your local PC store if you intend on using this in a small form factor PC.

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Palit's GeForce GT 520 sticks to the NVIDIA reference design for its display outputs. They include a VGA connector capable of 2048x1536, a Dual-Link DVI connector able to push 2560x1600 and a HDMI output sporting HDMI version 1.4a. As with the GTX 550, GTX 560 and other entry level cards it features bitstreaming support for both Dolby True HD and DTS-HD Master Audio over HDMI, which is especially handy for home theatre PCs.

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The card itself utilises a GF119 core that includes 48 CUDA cores running at a graphics clock of 810 MHz and processor clock of 1620 MHz, adding up to a texture fill rate of 6.5 billion pixels per second. The processor core links to a 64-bit memory interface to Elpida EDJ1108BDSE-DJ-F GDDR3 memory capable of up to 1333 MHz at 1.5 volts.

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All original content copyright James Rolfe.
All rights reserved. No reproduction allowed without written permission.
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