Well some games might work better with opengl 2.1 support on older chips. In the case of netbooks it is still too slow in most cases but there are similar solutions are with faster core cpus too, so maybe a good idea.
as a not so proud owner of a bunch of 'ironlake' and gen4 'pisslake(?)' hardware I have this to say
FUCK YOU INTEL.
the drivers in windows7 (they also work on 8) are pretty good and allow me to pretty much do what I do without problems:
watching big ass mkv's, bluray rips, video editing... pretty much anything 2d is covered and I can also play old games without problems
in linux... get this:
the drivers are so shitty that they are gonna start using ones made by the community
BY A FUCKING SEARCH ENGINE FUCKING GMAIL OPERATING COMPANY
and by dudes that just want to have a crack at making a driver
r u fucking kidding me intel?
how about porting the proprietary drivers from windows and at least giving us a choice OF USING A DECENT FUCKING PROFESSIONAL DRIVER
" well how about fuck you and no, the google drivers are good enough so use them"
how about fuck you too intel, I will buy a fucking arm laptop just out of spite
phoronix: run benchmarks on gen4 and 5 (the only ones that are still relevant) BUT FOCUS ON 2D & VIDEO FFS, as no sane person plays games on these cards, and show everyone just how shitty intel driver is compared to one made by uninterested third parties
Intel's G33 DRI drivers worked rather well on my G31 chipset on Fedora 17 before I went back to Windows. No tearing, no nothing. Only problem is that there's no hardware accel for Flash and HTML5 videos, with the latter slowing down to a complete crawl if the mouse is moved while playing in fullscreen mode (which obviously does not occur in Windows).
It will be interesting to see how i915g will perform on the same hardware the next time I put Linux on this computer again. Of course, that assumes that i915g will replace the classic drivers for any intel hardware that is not part of the Core iX series.