The new Gnome 3.0 requires hardware acceleration support. I wanted to try it out -- but how do I tell whether hardware acceleration is supported on my machine?
Gnome-Shell has very similar graphical requirements as the Unity interface. Therefore, if you want a quick test of potential compatibility, you could run the unity graphical test application via a live CD:
If you get a picture similar to this with all "yes" values - you probably can assume Gnome-Shell will work.
Well the best way of course is to just try it out ;)
Try a quick search through the ubuntu forums for you computers model number.
And the Ubuntu-certified hardware list might help as well.