After trying to import a $\approx 2$ GB TIF file with the Import command, I noticed that the process takes $\approx 15$ minutes or so, which seems excessive, especially when compared to other software packages. Attempting to load TIF files $>10$ GB in size can take over an hour. Surely there must be some trick to accelerate the import procedure? If not, can anyone explain to me why this is occurring? Perhaps it is generating an index of the individual images in some inefficient manner?
I have a 64-bit system and I'm happy to use an arbitrary amount of memory - speed is what matters to me.