Originally posted by John Reynolds
The 8500 scores well because of PS1.4 support. 3DMark, as someone over at B3D's board said, is supposed to represent more than just a card's performance, but also its "goodness" (technology, features, etc.). Make of that what you will.
Bingo. I wish they wouldn't advertise it as "the gamer's benchmark", because maybe it's true that games don't use the same techniques (ie. PS 1.4). But if you view 3DMark as a test of what a card is capable of rather than trying to emulate gaming performance, it works better. 8500 can utilise PS 1.4 to get things done more efficiently than GF3, so why shouldn't it "win"?
It's like saying "The 8500 wins in app A, but the GF3 wins in app B, therefore app A is a bad benchmark for the card's performance". It's only that app A's programmers made an effort to take advantage of the 8500's extra features. If game developers would take advantage of it more widely then it would win in more tests!