Nvidia adds entry-level GeForce GT 520

The GeForce 500 series has just gotten a bit larger, though you'll be forgiven for not finding the latest addition too exciting. Indeed, Nvidia's new GeForce GT 520 looks like a bottom-feeding entry-level offering, perhaps intended to compete directly with AMD's new Radeon HD 6450.

According to Nvidia, the GT 520 features 48 stream processors, an 810MHz core clock speed, a 1620MHz shader speed, 1GB of 900MHz DDR3 memory, and a 64-bit memory interface. The card draws up to 29W of power and supports Blu-ray 3D and stereoscopic video playback.

With a texel fill rate of 6.5 Gtexels/s and memory bandwidth of just 14.4GB/s, the card sounds quite a bit slower than the $60 GeForce GT 430, which pushes 11.2 Gtexels/s and 25.6-28.8GB/s of bandwidth depending on the speed of the included DDR3 RAM. Nvidia's relative performance chart confirms that impression, ranking the GT 520 behind even the old GT 220... and roughly on par with the positively ancient GeForce 9500 GT.

Anemic performance or not, the GeForce GT 520 does look set to hit retail shelves. Nvidia has a Flickr page filled with glamor shots of GT 520 variants from Asus, ECS, Gigabyte, MSI, Palit, Sparkle, and Zotac, among others. Almost all the card designs are low-profile, and many (perhaps too many) appear to use tiny fans to keep the GPU cool. As we found in our Radeon HD 6450 review, such small fans can cause quite a racket.

Update 4:40 PM: Zotac tells us its GeForce GT 520 has a $59.99 price tag. That's about what Newegg charges for an MSI GeForce GT 520 that appeared in its listings today, as well.

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