Linux add-on Compiz Fusion brings some fantastic 3D effects (along with a great deal of practical efficiency) to Ubuntu. Here's a video of the two programs loaded onto a completely stock, 512MB Asus Eee PC. We were way impressed by how the Eee doesn't break a sweat during all the effects. In our own experience, the only thing that seems to make the Eee chug is too many successive YouTube clips...so I'm thinking it's time to upgrade from the Eee's stock, Asus Linux OS with some dazzling Ubuntu style. [via digg]
At least for normal use, most people would only set up the different sides of the "cube" and "expose" features to be static. Under those conditions, even an old GeForce 2 could keep up with it. RAM and processing power are a different matter, though; you could probably keep open a lot of text windows and an e-mail client, but too many OpenOffice spreadsheets would be ill-advised. The Intel GMA900 ain't going to be winning any awards (other than slowest of the pack), but it's really not likely to be the bottleneck on anything but hardware lighting.
Rob C, the ATi 1270 is a x300 core shrunk down. If you need any more video power than an Intel GMA will give you, you need to go to something that isn't integrated. You can get low- to mid- end nVidia 7600 series cards on the market for not much more than the typical machine, and it's quite worthwhile.