Now of course, if you are serious about playing games, then you should avoid buying Intel graphic cards. Still, products like HD 3000 or 4000, do have the ability let you play certain games with decent quality too.
However, the Intel GPU driver provided by Ubuntu apparently is not the best of its kind (or so it seems) as of today, I was trying to benchmark my HD 3000 on Ubuntu 12.10 using the ‘Unigine Heaven‘ and all I could see was nothing but blacked-out 3D graphics.
So out of curiosity, I tried the GPU drivers provided by ‘Oibaf’, which according to its PPA page, comes with few tweaks that optimize the drivers for games (including OpenGL related performance tweaks etc, plus up-to-date drivers), and after installing the drivers, though I did not see any burst in the FPS, the blacked-out 3D graphs were finally gone and I could see colorful images while running the benchmark.
That actually broke the benchmark test somewhere in the middle (due to a bug?), but all in all, I was quite pleased with the performance delivered by these drivers, especially concerning the Unity desktop (seriously, I don’t know how you feel, but 12.10 is nowhere near the performance or the stability that 12.04 brought).
Not only the Intel GPU drivers, but this PPA also holds drivers for Nvidia and ATI too.
However, please remember that, it only includes the ‘free’ (community developed, reverse engineered drivers) drivers and if you are a gaming enthusiastic that has Nvidia or a ATI graphics card, then you should almost always be better off with the proprietary drivers, as they are deliver better performance.
But, if you have an Intel GPU, and having issues while playing games, then you might benefit by installing these drivers.
If interested, you can install them by using the below commands in your Terminal window (it only seems to support the two most recent versions of Ubuntu, 12.10 & 12.04 as of writing this post).
sudo apt-add-repository ppa:oibaf/graphics-drivers
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
Then restart your computer to apply the changes.
If however, they didn’t work out for you, then you can always rollback your changes and obtain the default drivers that come with Ubuntu by using the below commands in your Terminal window.
sudo apt-get install ppa-purge
sudo ppa-purge ppa:oibaf/graphics-drivers