Articles :: How to Benchmark a Videocard ::

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

3dmark 2001SE Build 330

MadOnion (now Futuremark) has been making benchmarks for video cards since 1998 with the release of 3dmark 1999. Subsequent revisions have included 3dmark 2000, and 2001. Today Futuremark is a well recognized leader in videocard benchmark makers. A lot of purchasers of videocards still ask today how many 3dmarks does your machine get in 2001 J. 3dmark 2001 was released in 2001 to great acclaim and controversy. The "Nature" test could only run on GEFORCE3 cards that NVIDIA was just introducing at that timeframe. 3dmark 2001 introduced gamers to what pixel shaders can do with the new DirectX 8 API.

3dmark 2001 comes as a single 40MB exe downloadable from virtually every gaming related site with a download section on the net. To install, simply double click the 3dmark 2001SE self extracting exe file and it will install. If you have the hankering for the Professional version, you get some image quality tools and a game demo for around $15.

Running 3dmark 2001 provides you with a lot of choices. The main test, which we use in our reviews, consists of up to 7 tests, depending upon whether the card supports Pixel Shaders or not. They consist of Game 1 which is a car chase with a huge giant robot chasing a truck, Game 2 which has a medieval chick riding a dragon, Game 3 which is a bit like the Lobby scene from the movie The Matrix and finally Game 4 which depicts a beautiful day outside.

The default settings are 1024x768 32bit color, compressed textures, D3d Pure Hardware TL (assuming the card supports Hardware T+L) Antialiasing: None. For our purposes the default setting is fine. To run the benchmark simply hit Benchmark and the tests will run. Note, I always like to let the default run of the benchmark run, as some of the tests are useful in their own right (Advanced Pixel Shader and Fillrate tests).

The score is a conglomeration of the 4 primary benchmarks with weight given to each of the benchmarks about equally. In recent years, the benchmark has become more CPU bound than videocard bound. However, it's still useful in some sense, if tested on the same platform with only the videocard being the difference. That's why we still use it. Synthetic benchmarks, measuring performance.


  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