I have a pretty big STEP file (83M), and two computers on which I tried to open it.
Comp 1) Xeon 2.13G, 12G RAM, XP-64bit, SW2007x64, Quadro NVS 295
Comp 2) Core 2 2.4G, 2G RAM, Vista-32bit, SW2010, Radeon X1300/X1550 Series
On #1, the STEP file takes about an hour to open. On #2, it opens in about 20 minutes. Both are opened over the network.
Once it is open, I can obviously move things around much more quickly on #1*. On #2, after a few operations the memory slowly creeps up from 85% usage to 96% or so, at which point I close SW, reopen it, and go work on something else. I just ordered more RAM, so that will help things on #2 after it is open.
But why does it take so long to open on the powerhouse machine? I expected #1 to be somewhat faster (not necessarily significantly, but indeed faster). I certainly didn't expect it to take three times as long.
What's causing this? Video card? Would the NVS really cause that much difference just in opening the file? (I know neither one is SW certified; I didn't spec these machines out.)
* Tho with that NVS card, nothing really displays very well. Doing a section view on the assembly was...less than fully sectioned.