Many great civilizations of the past thrived, among other things, due to complex systems of manufacturing and production regulations. By the 19th century human society had grown so sophisticated that there emerged an even greater need for uniform measurement and standardization as a consequence of the Industrial Revolution. Initially being part of the contract between supplier and purchaser, those norms and standards were later adopted across all countries and industries. The development of the transistor and the personal computer at large would not have been possible without strictly adhering to commonly accepted standards.
As the number of transistors in a single electronic chip was growing up and the whole computers with all their components were getting more and more complex, it became very hard to judge the raw horse power of a given system based solely on its CPU megahertz numbers. A standard measuring tool had to be devised, so that average users as well as journalists and manufacturers could compare different models and configurations available on the market with each other.
It has taken Futuremark Corporation quite a while to build solid reputation as the developer of an industry etalon, but they have been successful in achieving that goal. Almost twelve years since its initial release, we now welcome 3DMark, the Eleventh!