Access your system's ROM BIOS settings. Is your PCI Latency timer turned on?
Not all machines have this option, but if it does and it's turned off, you may
have speed performance degredation with respect any of the PCI cards you may
The PCI Latency timer controls the length of time a data burst can occur from a
PCI card on the PCI bus. It limits, or extends the burst length on each card to
keep one of them from tying up the bus and excessive CPU time.
I found my timer turned on all my slots. By turning them on with a setting of
between 40-90, I noticed that applications switch faster on my system. If, for
example you have a PCI video card and all other cards are ISA, then permitting
the PCI video card to provide a longer data burst may speed up overall
You may want to check this out. Depending on what PCI cards you have in your
system, results will vary. Obviously you only need to adjust the settings that
correspond to the occupied card slot. Since you may not know which PCI slot(s)
are being used, switch them all on. It won't hurt.
This tip comes from Rick Paquin of SPAWAR SSC Norfolk.