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3DMark 2001 SE

Although 3DMark 2001 SE comprises of 21 tests it's only the seven game performance tests that count towards the final score. The first three game performance tests, "Car Chase", "Dragothic" and "Lobby" are each run twice. The first run is performed using low detail settings with some of the visual realism switched off. The second run is performed with full high detail settings and all the visual niceties enabled. The fourth test, "Nature" is run just once and is the most demanding for the majority of graphics cards.

Despite the fact that the remaining fourteen tests don't count towards the final score, they are a useful indication of a graphics card's feature set, its general abilities and its visual quality. These additional tests are divided into three categories, "Theoretical Speed", "DX8 Features" and "Pro Version Tests". The "Pro Version Tests" are actually screen captures of the four games tests that allow you to make a visual inspection and comparison of the graphics card's overall image quality. As the name suggests this part of the 3DMark 2001 suite of tests is only available if you've paid for the "Pro" version

Using the “Select Test” function it’s possible to run individual tests rather than the whole suite. As you might expect only the Game Performance boxes need to be checked to generate a valid 3DMark score which can save valuable time for large scale benchmarking, but this doesn’t give a lot of information about a graphics card’s additional capabilities.

Various hardware settings can be adjusted although for general testing it’s rarely necessary to alter anything other than the screen resolution.

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