Bear with me if I say something dumb. I may know my fair lot about computers, but graphics and video are definitely not my forte. I'm trying to cover everything here, so I'd rather err on the side of caution, than hold back all doubts to avoid looking ignorant.
What I ask of you generous ladies and gentlemen, is an experienced recommendation, based on the requirements and hardware presented below.
1) AGP. No PCI-E slots available.
2) If this is possible (if this exists at all), I want a video card that favors graphic stuff that's not all about gaming, animation and graphic design. I want simple 2D smooth, fluid, high-quality image, when watching video files and DVDs. That's 99% of the graphic usage my computer sees. The stuff more typically associated with video card power (which I mentioned right above...gaming and so) happens very very rarely. The few games I play are all ancient classics (like, 10+ years old). Thus, those don't really need any special thought when picking a video card.
3) Good visuals on still pictures and an excellent refresh rate are important too, since I tend to see lots of higher-quality pics (taken from 6-8MP digicams for example), often needing to browse through them fast and fluid.
Since the rest of my hardware is obviously involved in the whole of the deal, through interaction and compatibility, here I present the relevant bits. I also put them here so you can recommend a card "within my league." I don't wanna go after something that's already too outdated to fit nicely in a whole new system I may build in the coming year...but that's too potent for this current PC.
Click on the names to go to the official websites where its technical specs are detailed.
Motherboard - ASRock K8Upgrade-VM800
IMPORTANT: The specs say AGP 8x/4x. I remember reading in several other places (including the manual), that it's actually 2x/4x. So, I think the "8" there is just a typo. Makes more sense that way, since the lower speed always comest first when listing these specs (as in 2x/4x, precisely).
So, yeah, anything above AGP 4x speed will be wasted...or may not even work...not sure. Would have to check in each individual case.
Also note voltage, 1.5v. Only mind this if you actually have some sort of experience with how voltage compatibility goes between motherboard and video card models (I have a bit).
Screen - AOC LCD 19" non-Widescreen model LM960
IMPORTANT: I know, it's a PDF and not a normal webpage, but I cannot help that, sorry. It says 17" in big letters, but note below that it actually says 19" visible area. So, it IS 19". Another typo.
If it's of any use, the screen's always working at its native resolution. I heard hat non-native resolutions force other parts of the computer to adapt (through software/video card) and work harder, to generate that "artificial" resolution. Again, let me know if I'm being too ignorant here. I just know non-native resolutions lose a LOT of the screen's actual quality, so I never use them.
General performance hardware - AMD Sempron 2600+ (1.6GHz). 1GB RAM DDR400.
Software - Windows XP SP2 fully patched (not SP3 yet). Nothing special installed, that would have any relation with video and graphics, really.
Tell me if you need any further info. I appreciate any and all suggestions. Thank you all for your time.