The upcoming Intel Graphics Media Accelerator X3000 integrated graphics chip will be a lot better than Intel's old IGPs.
DailyTech recently had the opportunity to pick apart some of the specifications for Intel's GMA X3000 architecture, and compare it to some of the other architectures available today. Perhaps the largest improvement of GMA X3000 over GMA 950 is the move away from a fixed function pipeline in favor of a programmable pipeline. NVIDIA and ATI abandoned fixed function pipelines in 2001.
Intel’s latest motherboard update has more detailed information on the Graphics Media Accelerator X3000. DirectX 9 features such as Pixel Shader 3 and Vertex Shader 3.0 are supported. This time around the Vertex Shader 3.0 units are hardware based instead of the software based shaders found in previous GMA900/950 and Extreme graphics cores. A hardware transform and lighting engine has also been integrated and a significant improvement over the previous software T&L engine. High dynamic range is also supported for great realism in gaming. Lastly the GMA X3000 graphics core will be clocked up to 667 MHz -- quite a bit higher than current budget ATI and NVIDIA offerings.
More info about this chip over here. DailyTech also points out this core features a completely programmable pipeline architecture, this may allow Intel to add a few features such as SM 4.0 support for later platforms like the Santa Rosa.