We use this procedure a great deal when attempting to enhance the performance of systems where SOLIDWORKS is having difficulty with importing or exporting geometry, or handling larger assemblies.
For those of us who are still using older workstations running 32 bit Operating Systems, applying the so called /3GB switch to get more memory allocated to SolidWorks is the first thing we consider when opening large files or running complex Simulation studies. There are a lot of people for whom the /3GB switch is working fine. If you are one of the “unlucky” ones, who are getting all kind of problems in SolidWorks after applying the /3GB switch, please read this article which explains why that happens: The case against using the /3GB switch on 32-bit Windows
The virtual memory on your computer should be adjusted to provide optimum performance, and minimum fragmentation. While this guide is written for Windows XP, the changes and settings are also fully applicable to other Windows operating system (however the locations of the menus in question may be different). To properly adjust your virtual memory, you need to know how much physical memory, or RAM, is on the system. You can find this by going to Start-> All Programs-> Accessories-> System Tools-> System Information. Within the System Summary section of the system information window, find the Total Physical Memory. This is your RAM.