I will provide an account here of my problem with i3 processor and the way it got solved for now. May it help somebody or something:
My girlfriend's computer with this processor caused troubles first when trying to run PartedMagic. It was unable to start: forze just between finishing coppying into ram and running the session. Later I managed partitioning with Debian 6.0, but later on Debian installed on the machine started to freeze during common tasks like browsing internet with Iceweasel. I was not able to switch run leveles and get to terminal. The machine did not react to pressing switch off button which was set to run shutdown in power manager. So the hard shutdown was needed.
I attributed the problem to old or problematic free drivers, so I tried OpenSuse 11.4, which, I think, has very liberal policy in using proprietary software. But the behaviour was same and furthermore the performance was very poor (precisely slow). So I tried Xubuntu 10.04, 64bit version with nice performance, but the same trouble (unsolvable freezing) appearing in some two days.
Then I have found here that the cause of troubles might be problematic drivers for Intel i3 processor. So I decided fist to try newer Ubuntu (11.04) and then to come back to 10.04, but the x86 vesrion.
At the moment the machine seems to work fine with x86 version of (X)ubuntu 10.04.2 with kernel 2.6.32-28.
Ubuntu 10.04.2 offers newer (2.6.32-32) kernel, which I have not tried yet. Since it is a computer, on which my girlfriend works, so I do not want to change what is running smoothly.
(X)ubuntu 11.04 in both 32 and 64bit versions failed (meaning froze) immediately during the shutdown after install and few minutes after runing freshly installed system.
Can't see why I'd want 3d performance or advanced OpenGL functionality unless I'm gaming, which won't do.
Or is there other reasons?
The basic desktop in front of you is nowadays being rendered with OpenGL. The next version of kwin will be taking advantage of advanced OpenGL (3.0+) functionality, so it will be advantageous to use a video card that is capable of that.
Additionally, OpenGL performance starts mattering once you move up in resolutions. If all you have is a basic laptop with a 1366x768 monitor then no problem. Connect your system to a 1920x1080p HDTV and the 3d engine suddenly starts playing a role - what's the point of video acceleration when your video card can't display the frames fast enough? All previous-gen Intel chips had issues with that (haven't used the Sandy Bridge ones, so can't tell) and resolutions are still rising (it's not all that uncommon to have two FullHD or a even QuadHD monitor nowadays).
^ Yeah that was posted by me well over 1yr ago.
The person before you necroposted (but he/she didn't mention that)
I've since resolved to getting a 560Ti because I'll be making use of a large TV display, & want the option of occasional PC gaming.
Will upgrade from my Clarkdale based system to Ivy Bridge, as soon as it's available.
Some good points nonetheless, thanks blackstar.