So far, Intel's graphics cards have been for basic office tasks and browsing the web. They were never made for gaming or even light gaming. Well the Intel HD 3000 changed that.
The Intel HD 3000 graphics card is integrated into the new sandy bridge processors. Like Intel's last set of graphics cards the Intel HD 3000 has no dedicated graphics memory. This means it must borrow memory from the RAM to run any programs, play games, watch movies, etc. But the Intel HD graphics can access the l3 cache unlike its predecessors.The Intel HD graphics 3000 is integrated into the core I3 core I5 and core I7 processors, these are Intel's new line of processors. The Intel HD graphics 3000 has 12 pixel shaders and 12 vertex shaders. Also the Intel HD 3000 supports all versions of DirectX up to version 10.1.
I found many graphics heavy games playable on the Intel HD graphics 3000 at low to medium settings.The Intel HD 3000 ran Left 4 Dead at about 65 FPS at very high settings, that is a breakthrough for Intel integrated graphics cards. It also ran Resident Evil 5 at an average of 60 FPS at low settings. Call of Duty: Black Ops and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 were playable at low settings. Crysis 2 which is one of the most graphics heavy games in my opinion was playable at low settings. Dirt 3 was playable at medium settings at around 30-35 FPS. FEAR 2 is barely playable at medium settings at 25 FPS. Other games it could play were FIFA 11, Battlefield Bad Company 2, Risen, Need for Speed 2, Anno 1404, Sims 3, Doom 3, and World in Conflict. It plays these games at mostly low settings, im sure it can play many more games.Also it can run almost all mmorpg games ive tried like World of Warcraft, Runescape, etc. If you pair the Intel HD graphics 3000 with a fast I3 processor and 4 GB of RAM you will have a cheap system that can play almost all games at low to medium settings.
The Intel HD 3000 is also great for watching HD movies and tv shows. It also has the power to run advanced video editing software such as Sony Vegas and picture editing software like Adobe picture editor cs5.
In conclusion, the Intel HD graphics 3000 is a major improvement for Intel and is a cheap alternative for an expensive graphics card. The Intel HD 3000 is by far one of the best integrated video cards ive seen. I would definitely recommend computers with the Intel HD 3000 to anyone on a tight budget.