3DMark03 is a benchmark application specifically developed to test video cards. It is the fourth entry in the 3DMark benchmark program developed by Futuremark Corporation. It was initially released on February 11, 2003. The program is the first 3DMark generation to use DirectX 9.0 version. Its main purpose is to measure and analyze the computer’s 3D graphic rendering as well as CPU processing abilities.
The program offers various 3D tests. It has four game tests including Mother Nature, Wings of Fury, Battle of Proxycon, and Troll’s Lair. Results in these game tests are the only ones included in the final 3DMark03 score. The application also offers CPU, Image Quality, Sound, and Feature tests. All of these tests are used to measure particular 3D-related functions. For instance, the CPU tests are used for measuring the CPU’s performance for basic 3D use while the Feature tests are used for testing the performance of specific 3D features related to the Shader technology. However, these four benchmarks are not included in the final score and are only used to analyze the features of each.
The game tests conducted by the program are real-time rendering of 3D situations. This means that the game tests are specifically designed to work like 3D games. This allows 3DMark03 to measure in 3D graphics real-time. The program also provides two types of real-time rendering mechanisms – frame-based and time-based rendering.