I heard(more like "read", actually) people talking about using Gallivm3D's llvmpipe as a fallback option in case your gpu can't do adequate acceleration(for whatever reason), but, at the moment, it doesn't work and you'd still need a rather powerful cpu, I guess. As for what exactly needs acceleration, I don't really know. I hope just a few effects that can be disabled. I mean, come on, even Windows lets you disable its stupid visual effects, but gnome doesn't? That'd be ridiculous!