I'm a big fan of 3DMark, sure it's not the most exciting bit of software on the planet, at least not to some. But one of the best things about getting your hands on a new system, be that one you built your self, or in my case one your testing for review, it's fantastic to put a number to their performance and that's exactly what Futuremark has been doing for years.

Yesterday Futuremark announced their next generation of benchmarking software, only this time they've gone one step further. The new software is capable of putting Windows, Windows RT, Android, iOS and who knows, maybe more systems through their paces using the same techniques. What's so entertaining about that you might ask? Well now it means you can take your scores across all platforms, literally benchmark your phone against your friends phone, see if your computer really is faster than the latest iPad.

The next-gen software will be called 3DMark, no fancy name or numbers to follow it and it will be the first 3DMark with cross-platform comparison abilities, but also be the first to test different Direct3D features from the one application, Open GL ES 2.0 mobile devices, Multi-GPU DirectX 11 gaming systems and a whole lot more.

There will be three newly designed test for these tasks. Ice Storm will test mobile devices and low level hardware, Cloud Gate for notebooks and home PCs and Fire Strike for high end gaming systems. All will put the various hardware through their processing, graphical and physics based regime of stress tests to weed out the week and crown the mighty.

This will be good news for overclockers too as now they won't be limited to just their high end gaming system and can now get industry leading results on all the platforms they love to tinker with.

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