Hi jaxxxx - you must go 64-Bit!
One of my computers is an antique PC, but in operating system terms I have moved it all the way from Windows XP 32 Bit to Windows 8 then 64-Bit Windows 8 then to 64-Bit 8.1 and now onto 64-Bit Windows 10 - the performance increase on 64-Bit operating systems when you have been using a 32-Bit O/S on the same hardware is massive, mostly (afaik) due to the efficiency gain of 64-Bit hardware natively talking to 64-Bit operating system.
The improvement on a Laptop I moved from 32 to 64-Bit Windows 7 was fantastic - even battery life somehow improved - its now on 64-Bit Windows 10!
I keep that antique computer running to avoid having to pay for nearly £4,000 of new licence's for the same range of specialized software.
All but one of the programs work fine on 64-Bit.
The only piece of hardware that was not 64-Bit compatible (no manufacturer driver) was a Hayes analogue modem - that kept working (but slightly slower) with a generic windows modem driver till I bought a MultiTech modem which has 64/32 Bit drivers from the manufacturer.
The program with a 64-Bit issue instead runs on a 32-Bit virtual machine on the 64-Bit antique PC.
Simplest way to experiment with 64-Bit is to get a spare Hard Disk (unplug your HDD & plug in the spare blank HDD in its place) and clean install whatever flavour of 64-Bit Operating system on that, try it out make sure it works and then layer on drivers, then software and all of a sudden you often find everything just works!
Ignore the old and limited drivers (LAN, Chipset, Sound, AHCI etc.) offered by your motherboard manufacturer - research the actual makers (in my case Marvell, Intel, Realtek, Intel again) of the chips on the motherboard etc. that need drivers and look directly at the chip manufacturers websites instead they all have drivers on them - motherboard makers / PC makers have an obvious vested interest in not giving you the latest 64 bit drivers - they would sooner you bought another Motherboard / PC. In any case the drivers your manufacturer gives you in the first place are just disguised slightly repackaged drivers from the manufacturers of the actual microchips involved.
Try it let me know what happens.
Is your Computer Monitor Faulty?
One of my LCD DVI Widescreen monitors went faulty by compressing the picture so 2 inches was missing down the right hand side OR nothing was visible except for 4 inches on the left hand side (everything was compressed into that space) OR massively magnified on a small area of the display AND what can only be described as going out of focus to varying levels of blurriness - I thought all that was my graphics card / graphics drivers - Nope it was the monitor - leave computer running power cycle the monitor and picture is suddenly fine again - I rebuilt that monitors power supply and the fault never came back.
What kind of heat-sink does your graphics card have?
My original (long ago sold off) NVidia GE6600 (Connectors:- DVI, VGA & Breakout Box Connector for Component HD Output) had a factory fitted silent (fan-less) passive heat-pipe cooler assembly it worked fine but sparkles eventually started appearing on the monitor so sold it off before it cooked itself to death. Replaced it with a brand new NVidia GTS250 (Connectors:- DVI 1, DVI 2 & Breakout Box...) that had an all aluminium cooler with fan - hopeless cooler even though it was a reference design - it caused random graphics hangs under any load all summer long.
At this point in time my now 10 year old Motherboard started eating BIOS batteries (all brands expensive & cheap) and then also developed repeated Cold Boot time BIOS total amnesia. I concluded one of the Capacitors was internally short circuited and draining the BIOS battery overnight so I wielded the soldering iron and replaced (and upgraded) all 65 Motherboard capacitors - BIOS amnesia & battery eating fixed BUT Graphics problems the same as before so.....
What finally fixed it was an NVidia GTX285 graphics card (Connectors:- DVI 1, DVI 2 & Breakout Box...) ironically it was a second hand graphics card bought from eBay it works perfectly BUT it does have the best cooler - again it is a reference design card and stock reference design factory cooler blowing its hot air out of the back of the case (next to the graphics card connectors) BUT this graphics card cooler is totally different to the GTS250's - it is similar to Intel's stock Aluminium CPU coolers - that all have a "puck" of solid copper touching the CPU embedded in the aluminium heat sink to spread the heat faster into the aluminium - while the GTX285 has a huge slab of copper with six liquid filled copper heat pipes directly touching the GPU chip (discovered this when I replaced the thermal grease before putting GTX285 into use) and aluminium (car radiator style) fine fins soldered to the heat pipes - 2 years later still all working perfectly!