I am not looking to play the latest and greatest at full resolution with 60frames.
I am looking to play @1280x1024 (max).
CPU: AMD Athalonn XP 2800
MOBO: Asus KM400 VT8237 (1 AGP 8X; 3 PCI)
Current GPU: GeForce 5500 256mb
Direct Desire would be a New graphics card for: Mass Effect 1.
Future desires if possible: ME2, and SWToR. Though I am hoping to build a new computer by then.
Price range. Under $80 would be great. Obviously not looking to put a ton of money into the current system. A cheapest possible option and a more expensive but good value option would be excellent. I just picked $80 out of the air.
maybe it's time to do overhaul for your system. if you want to play latest game at 60 fps you're going to need good and more recent card. at your resolution something like HD4670 or 9600GT still fine to get good performance.
Unfortunately I think that is over my PSU limitations. As I look more into it, I may be asking for something non-existent.
I don't know ... if you're going by the manufacturer's recommended specs, they ALWAYS greatly exaggerate the wattage you'll need to run a card. Fact is, they don't know what the rest of your system specs are, so they assume the worst power-hogging components they can think of. It's a cover-their-ass kind of thing.
At any rate, I have a 4650 running on a machine with a 300W power supply, and have heard of countless others getting it to work on 300W or even 275W. On 250W I don't know for sure, but there's a good chance it will. If you're worried about it, you could always pick up a cheapo 300-400W power supply for like ... $15-$20.
Now, people always say it's important to get a PSU from a reputable brand because there really is a difference (and there is) ... but in a case like yours, where there's such low wattage involved and the system is so old to begin with, you really have nothing to lose, so I'd say go for whatever won't break your wallet.