In creating the 3DMark2001 benchmark, MadOnion gave the marketing divisions of video card makers all over the world a very powerful tool. Since the final score is strongly dependent on driver optimizations and other tweaks, there is an ongoing fight among the various chipmakers for the most tweaked driver. In reality, these results are only partly echoed in real world gaming performance. Nonetheless, a review just wouldn't be complete without this benchmark.
Since the latest driver release, the RADEON 8500 has dominated this test. It's only a matter of time before NVIDIA wins back the 3DMark crown, with a newer, even more "optimized" driver for the GF3, though. The GF2 Ti, meanwhile, lags behind its competitor, the R7500. In this case, the reason is not a more optimized driver - the RADEON's main advantage lies in its faster memory.
The various driver versions coupled with the usual margin of error produces differences in scores of up to 100 points on otherwise identical cards.