Personally I love a good benchmark tool, its the high of nerdy and is the pc building equivalent of a track day. Ok so its not as "thrilling" as being in a sports car of course, but it is good to flex your hardware and see just what your system is capable of.
It was only last week that Futuremark showed off the trailer for the new DirectX 11 based Fire Strike benchmark and it stunned us with its heavy use of modern graphics features that are certain to tax the current and next generation of graphics processors. Cloud Gate is just as demanding of course, but in a different way, this time focusing on DirectX 10 hardware such as notebooks and more common house house computers.
It will also take care of the lower end of the DirectX 11 scale, especially those that can't handle the mighty Fire Strike test (sounds dangerous when I put it like that). This is thanks to its use of the DirectX 11 engine, but limiting the Direct3D feature level to just 10_0, this test will initially only be included with the Windows edition of the next 3DMark software.
The next gen bench-marking suite is due for release in January 2013.
Follow the link for more details and a full gallery of images.