I'd be more inclined to say your CPU is the bottleneck with G/F 3.
and 1.5Gb RAM? Far out, we're only just approaching that in our servers at work :-D
I have a 1Gig myself with 256Mb and a Geforce2 and got 3273 on the original 3D mark 2001.
Not tried it for while but comparing with your score it looks great! It was suggested to me that G/F really needs around 1.7Ghz to fully come out in force.
Really you need a new Motherboard, some DDR or RDRAM, and a P4 or Athlon.
Since you use AMD already i suggest you wait a few and get a Athlon64 or Barton, some PC2700 or PC3200 DDR memory and a new MB. That would be your best improvment. Your GF3 isn't even close to being maxed out by your current system. If it could only get some wings :-)
Anyway, the GF FX will not bring you much of anything with your current system, it is simply that your cpu, memory are the bottlneck, not the AGP card.
I'm not sure if it's the memory in your system, but it's worth noting that I get ~4000 in 3dmark2k1 with a GF2 Pro, 1 Ghz Tbird, and a 512MB of PC2100. With a GF4 4200, it doubles.
The last thing I would suggest is sticking a GF FX in there. It's already bottlenecked as it is by the memory and CPU. For the money you'd spend on the card you're much better off buying a new motherboard, cpu, memory, and something like a Radeon 9500 pro.
I'd just add that a GeForce FX's performance is likely to be very constrained by your CPU, so you won't be getting real value for your money until you get a decent processor too. As mentioned above, your GeForce 3 card is already likely to be suffering from the same problem.
Personally I'd go for an XP2000+. Cheap as hell and will see your through until the FX has dropped to a sensible price. I recently had to ask myself the same question as yourself, but I had an old TNT2 Ultra and a 1GHz Duron, so the graphics card was a more obvious target for upgrade.
I'm waiting for the Hammer CPU before I start to upgrade my CPU/RAM, etc, but I might pick up an XP 1900+ because they're just so cheap, and it'd make a significant difference in performance. Your GeForce 3 is not a bad card, I'd wait until the more hefty games are released (such as DOOM III) before you get your new card. Your call though.
I'd rather have a full bottle in front of me than a full frontal lobotomy
lol yea no doubt....why buy a fast as hell graphics card and only want 60fps and 30min....deep down inside anyone that buys that nice of a graphics card wants 100000000 3dmarks ......you can upgrade to a wuality nforce2 setup for under 300bones that will take full potential of that video card...i would suggest 2 (256mb sticks) of pc3500....like the other guys said you dont want this with your current setup....it would be a huge waste....the video card you are using now is sufficent
Guess you missed our point. What we were saying is that for the price of the GeForce FX (which you said you already planned on buying) you could get a new motherboard, new RAM, and a new processor. You would not be buying a whole new PC, just spending your money in a more logical manner.
Our whole point is that with your current set up, it doesn't matter what new video card comes out, it isn't going to help you much at all.