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Couple of things to look at:
1) Do you have thumbnails turned on? What are the settings thereof?
2) How large are the photos? An 8MB machine might be having RAM issues with caching, so you might be seeing a delay due to paging to / from disk. (And are you sure it's 8 MB? That seems awfully small ...)
1. Thumbnails are turned on. Stock settings....the thumbnail container appears to be a repeating field with 15 slots, Calcuation is:
ExtendRepeatingField ( Display Container ) Are there other settings someplace?
2. Photos, 2-5 Mb jpegs, mostly from an iPhone 4s
3. I meant 8 gigs on the machine.
Yes, there are other settings. If you look under File > Manage > Containers, you'll get the option to use either permanent or temporary storage for your thumbnails:
The default is "temporary". That will be good if your photos change a lot (because the thumbnails will refresh), but it'll slow the machine down. If your images go in and stay there (don't get changed), you might try using "permanent" and see if that helps.
I think your repeating field may be part of the problem (not having seen the setup, I can't be sure). Assuming I understand what you have, you're asking FileMaker to make thumbnails of 15 images stored in a repeating field? That's going to require some computational horsepower, and might be part of the problem (especially if the calculation is unstored).
It might be worth noting that FileMaker will automatically create thumbnails of images for display purposes; you don't have to use the Thumbnail () function to make it do that. (That function is there so you can precisely control the size of the image.) I can't be certain without seeing exactly what you're doing, but you might try just echoing out the images to the screen without the Thumbnail () function and see what happens.