I really think 3dmark03 has some probs, or is just crap!
Since 3dmark2000, I have never had a 3dmark run so bad.
For eg. When 3dmark2001 came out, I had an Athlon SlotA + geforceDDR, old hardware for a DirectX8 benchmark, and I got about 1500 marks.
When I upgraded to a GF3, score went up to about 4000+
Upgrade to an AthlonXP1800+ and turn in a score of 8500+ marks.
Today with 3dmark03, sure my specs arent steller, but on game test 1&2, I get an average of 2.6 FPS (these test have nothing to do with directx9 btw) and turn in a total score of 444 yippe
Now people with a 1GHz cpu + a 9700 are turning in scores of 4000+, people with 3GHz cpu + 9700 will get you 5000+, only an extra 1000 points!!
Now in 3dmark01 when I upgraded my cpu from a 700 to a 1800+, I got like 4000+ points/marks.
Sure the benchmark is nice, but really has nothing to do with games. Remember ATI cards used to always be faster in 3dmark01 (8500vsgf3) yet the gf3 was/is faster in almost every game!!
Using time demos will always be better than using 3dmarkXX for giving an idea of system performance in games, and that is the main purpose for my pc, not winning benchmarks in 3dmarkXX.