Oh, and with the VIA Nano I can get ~230 fps for glxgears in Ubuntu Karmic Alpha 6.
Yeah, somehow I'm not surprised "VIA Chrome9 HC3 Integrated Graphics" aren't very good. As a comparison my crappy G965 (X3100) Thinkpad gets around ~1000 to ~1100 depending on what crazy crap they changed (or when it completely breaks and drops to 100).
I've been told glxgears is a bad benchmark, but it is a good ballpark (because it does seem to relate with general card performance pretty well when fancy things like shaders/glsl stuff isn't involved. Kind of a raw power benchmark.
After all, all glxgears does is render 3 gears made of solid color polygons via display lists. So that is the performance you are benchmarking (not cooler VBO's .... or other cool things like "textures" - you may have heard of them).
I wonder if there is any KMS stuff in the pipe for the Chrome9? Or if it's even worth while...