Hi, I've been loking to upgrade my hp-pavilion to a dual-screen computer. Basically, I'm using a an NVIDIA Geforce 6150SE nforce 430, which I've learned is a pretty bad, and more importantly, onboard graphics card. I also know my PSU only outputs 250W. My main goal is to set up dual screens and get better graphics, but not so much for gaming. I've asked somewhere before, and they said it was virtually impossible to do this on a prebuilt desktop from HP.
"Pre-Built PC from HP/COMPAQ - chances of user upgradeability = practically zero. Check with HP/COMPAQ about suitable discrete add-in cards for that machine.
OEM crippled nVidia chipset based mainboard - chances of it working with any newer generation ATI/AMD VGA cards unless it gets a newer BIOS update which allows correct recognition & initialisation of newer generation ATI/AMD VGA cards = zero.
Pre-Built PC from HP/COMPAQ may use PSU(s) with proprietary wiring / colour coding of wires etc specifically made to run OEM mainboard. Chance of user upgradeability = very slim but maybe not impossible if they use regular wiring schemes / PSUs / mainboard connectors ..
HP/COMPAQ OEM 250W PSU - chances of it working with anything good = zero."
I was just wondering if this was possible, and if i didn't need to replace anything other than a new graphics cards and maybe PSU.
Ok option A) buy new computer. Yours is getting long in the tooth at this point and building your own would be a huge improvement... plus you can get just about everything for a moderately good gaming rig for ~800 plus shipping (i5 2500, 8gb ram, 750watt psu, 1tb wd black hd, and an asrock z68 extreme mobo)
Option B) if you keep those monitors and the system and want to use that video card you might run into problems since even though its a low power it may be too powerful for your psu (as you suspected) and that psu replacement might not work (also as you suspected)... but there's another thing to consider. some pci-express 1.0 motherboards like that dont work with pci-express 2.0 or 2.1 cards at all.
Then again there is a third option... standard pci card. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
should work for what you are looking for... wont be gamer quality or anything but it will power multiple monitors and wont draw more than the slot can output which should keep it below your psu's output... now if the psu's capacitors have aged too much it might not be able to put out 250w and could pop. That's why Im leaning towards you just upgrading.
So you can take your chances trying to keep your old rig alive or upgrade to a new one and be sure it'll work.