Articles :: How to Benchmark a Videocard ::

Doc Overclock · 12-01-2003 · Category: Guides

Quake3 Arena

Quake 3 Arena has been around as a benchmark for over 4 years. The first Quake 3 Test was released in early 1999. For the following 3 years, virtually every video card review has had some form of this benchmark. While today, the limitation is mostly not the video card in this benchmark, it's still a very useful OpenGL benchmark especially for showing performance degradation when AA and AF is enabled.

Setting up Quake3 is simple and painless. If you have the retail game simply install it from the CD. We use the 1.16n point release in our reviews. While this benchmark is old, and the PR is rather old, it's still available off sites like Planet Quake or File front. After installing Quake3 and the point release, simply fire up Quake 3 and go to the settings page.

The settings page for Quake3 starts off with the Normal video settings. To change all the settings to maximum, simply click the graphics settings button to High Quality, change the resolution to 1024x768, set the Geometric Detail to High, slide the Texture Detail all the way to the right, and change the Texture filtering to Trilinear. At this point you have set the quality to maximum.

Before running the benchmark it's necessary to turn off audio. Different audio cards can change the performance dynamic. As we're reviewing a video card, and not the soundcard, it's impossible to compare apples to apples if the soundcard behaves differently on one system to another. To turn off audio in Quake 3 simply hit the ~ key, type s_initsound 0 then snd_restart. This sets the sound setting to 0 (default is 1) and restarts Quake3 with sound disabled. From this point, running the benchmark is simple. Simply type timedemo 1 (to set timedemo to 1), then demo demo001 or 002 (the two time demos most commonly used. If you're using later time demos based upon the 1.32 point release, simply type timedemo 1 demo demofour instead. At the conclusion of the benchmark simply hit the ~ key again and a fps will show.


  1. Introduction
  2. Dronezmark
  3. SpecViewPerf 7.0
  4. Final Fantasy XI The benchmark
  5. Serious Sam: 1 & 2
  6. UT2003
  7. Quake3 Arena
  8. 3dmark 2001SE Build 330
  9. 3dmark 2003
  10. Gunmetal Benchmark 2
  11. Halo
  12. Aquamark 3
  13. Conclusion