The 3DMark03 engine is based on open standards, and nVidia likes to write their own. It will not perform poorly on any card except nVidia ones. This includes ATi, SiS, 3Dlabs, Intel, Matrox, 3dfx, et all. It is just nVidia that has problems and requires extensive optimization. For all you AMD lovers, this should be a turn-off since the biggest thing about the AMD Athlon is it doesn’t require optimizations to perform well.
As a side note, their detection and whatnot is never quite right in the first version. Give them time for another build.
The 300 Mb version is the real cruncher that will kill your video card it takes so much, but the results on the older one are still valid and you can go for that.
SPECviewperf is the difinitive OpenGL benchmark for high-end performance. This is what the dual Xeon and dual Itanium boxen run with their FireGL, Oxygen, Wildcat and Quadro cards, among others. The number of polygons utterly demolishes what gamers think of as “high end”. This is not a fill-rate test (well, part of the 3DS MAX test is, but I digress). It depends on raw polygon crunch in OpenGL. Think something like GLmark but with 2-10x the polys.