I have a machine with the following specifications:
Q6600 at 2.4GHZ
4GB Corsair DDR3 RAM
EVGA 8800 GTX
Windows 7 32 bit
Monitor is at 1280x1024 and unlikely to get higher any time soon.
The machine has begun to suffer GPU driver failures. Large artefacts appear on the screen and Windows reports that the machine has recovered from an error caused by the GPU drivers. This may repeat a couple of times and the machine then experiences a BSOD. Analysis of the minidumps suggests the GPU driver and the consensus is that the GPU is failing. The actual technical problem with the machine is mostly incidental, although if anyone has any thoughts about other causes for the problem, then they are certainly welcome. I can also post the minidumps if that is of interest; however, the main substance of this post is to ask for suggestions for a replacement GPU.
I'm looking for a GPU to replace the current one. I have reviewed the site's Econobox in the most current system builder article suggestions, since this most closely reflects the PC that we're dealing with; that recommends the 7770 for pairing with a low-tier Sandy Bridge CPU. I'll admit at this point that I come into this not particularly wanting to buy an AMD/ATI device; I've had poor experience with them in the past. My wife is the primary user of the PC and I want it to run smoothly and not occupy too much of my time. I realize that the days of my poor driver experience may well be over for AMD/ATI, but it does still bother me; I'm amenable to persuasion, though, if the AMD/ATI options are superior.
The machine is primarily used to play games like Left 4 Dead, Dead Island, The Walking Dead and TF2/BC2; there are also older games, but only worth mentioning for the purpose of maintaining compatibility [Heroes of Might and Magic V, etc]. The machine has to last for about another 2 - 3 years.
One option is to directly replace the 8800 GTX with another card with acceptable performance; the other is to use the GTX 470 from my main PC and replace that card with something faster/newer. I've looked somewhat into both and have found the re-naming of the various products pretty confusing within both tiers. I haven't looked at what is available in GPUs in some time and it looks as if there are still production problems at 28nm. Ideally, if I replaced the current GTX 470 with something faster, I'd want to avoid buying another Fermi derivative rather than Kepler or the equivalent AMD option. It looks like options are pretty severely limited in the $200 tier, which is probably about where I'd want to purchase from and it looks as if this necessitates purchasing from the previous [GTX 500] generation. Is this correct?
I did look around and consider buying a direct replacement in the form of another 8800 GTX from Ebay; however, it seems silly to buy such old  technology now. I'm not fanatical about power consumption per se, but it might as well be efficient. It seems that options for replacing the 8800 GTX ought to be superior in terms of efficiency to something designed in 2007 on a 90nm process.