Before and after changing any options, you should know how to objectively test your current setup. You must calculate how many frames per second (FPS) your setup can sustain. The important thing is the average FPS, so the test must involve something with multiple players and weapons. In Quake III, you can run demos in a special mode, so it runs them as quickly as possible, and reports the FPS at the end.
To test your machine, start Quake III Arena, from the menu, do the following.
||Brings down the console|
||Puts Quake III in timing mode|
||Run a demo, there are two that come with the DemoTest - demo001 and demo002.|
||Bring down the console again to see the results. It's the last number
That's how many frames per second your computer can do, on average. You should run this test after every change you make to determine how much the most recent optimization helped and whether it's worth the feature you turned off to get it.
For example, if you go fromto color, and are only .3 FPS faster, you may want to just stick with 32-BIT color because it just looks better.
The best way to do this is to run both demos and keep track of both lists of numbers whenever you change something.