GT 520 is Gainward’s most affordable Geforce 500 series card. The company offers three different models based on the GF119 GPU, one of which is Geforce GT 520 SilentFX. We’re talking about a passively cooled card aimed at workstation and HTPC users. Passive operation and quality audio video reproduction are one of the main advantages of the GT 520 SilentFX over similar cards. The card has a low power GPU whose TDP is only 29W, thus allowing for passive cooling.
The GF119’s GPU is enough for processing video in any format but as far as gaming is concerned – users are stuck with 1280x1024, or even lower depending on specific game demands. Geforce GT 430 can still be found on the shelves and it goes for only €5-10 more than the GT 520. So, if you’re keen on gaming, we’d advise you to go for the GT430.
Bitstreaming support for both Dolby True HD and DTS-HD Master Audio via HDMI-a is perfect for home theatre computers but the GT 520’s advantage over Intel’s and AMD’s integrated solutions is that it can run two displays. Apart from the HDMI connectors, GT 520 SilentFX has one VGA and one dual-link DVI out.
Gainward’s GT 520 SilentFX uses dual slot heatsink that may cause problems in some smaller HTPC cases, although the card’s main downside, i.e. lack of graphics performance, is down to Nvidia’s design. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a passively cooled card, it’s definitely worth checking out, if nothing else then to upgrade integrated graphics solutions.