As hardware continues to change to adapt to new technologies, so must SOLIDWORKS. 32 bit operating systems suffer from a very big limitation. The virtual address space usable by a 32 bit operating system is 4 GB of RAM. This means that the operating system is incapable of using more than 4 GB of RAM even if your computer had more RAM installed. At the time 32 bit operating systems were created (over a decade ago) the idea of 4 GB of RAM was unthinkable. At that time the common machine measured RAM in megabytes (MB). Of course now you can purchase a new machine with over 40 GB of RAM so this limitation needed to be addressed. This lead to the 64 bit operating system. The modern 64 bit Windows operating system will support up to 8 TB of RAM, meaning it will support RAM upgrades for years to come. What does all this mean to the average SOLIDWORKS user? You will not be able to install SOLIDWORKS 2015 on a 32 bit computer. This limitation in usable RAM and the aging nature of the 32 bit operating system means that as of SOLIDWORKS 2015 32 bit operating systems are no longer supported.
NOTE: 32 bit operating systems are still supported for the SOLIDWORKS Enterprise PDM client software.