Graphics Card For 19 Inch Ws Monitor

New to graphics and monitors, so chances are it will be easy to solve. I have just been give a 19'' widescreen lcd for crimbo. I am currently running onboard graphics as i don't need anything special. The highest resolution i can get is 1280 x 1024, but when in widescreen mode, it stretches everything and look rubbish. I have looked at the papers that have came with it and the read as follows:-

19'' widescreen
Max res 1440 x 900

I cant seem to find this setting in my properties, so i assume i will need a graphics card upgrade. Am i on the right lines? Or am i missing out something very simple? I would really like to have the monitor on widescreen and have the resolution so that it fills the screen without the stretching. This will maximize the monitor and my workspace.

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