I'd expect a little more from a system that like that. Maybe you should tighten the settings on your RAM. I found myself gaining 800 to 1000 3DMarks(2001SE) after having my Crucial PC2100 under the tightest possible settings. You could OC that card quite easily (<A HREF="http://www.rage3d.com" target="_new">http://www.rage3d.com</A>), and check for the latest drivers too. I'm sure you could squeeze another 800 3Dmarks out of your system.
make sure what radeon U have and what radeon ur friends has. also, if u say ur card is RADEON 8500 LE 128 MB, ur card can run reliably at 280/280 (or at least i can). Make sure what kinds of cards u and ur friend owns because i hve seen many benchmarks and TOMS VGA CHARTS and it seems that the radeon 8500 with 64mb performs better for some reason...i do expect a little more from ur computer , but i dont think u can raise the mark more than 800 even if u do expert tweaking, sometimes its just luck on how ur components perform. also, 3dmark not always give the same number of marks. i benchmarked my system, and 10 minutes later i did it again and i got a different score (+ or - 100 marks) so that also has a little to do with ur score.
real philosophy of life: "do onto others what you dont want them do onto you"