I tried PCManFM too, same thing. Windows Explorer on Windows 7 can load the directory, thumbnails and all, in as little as 30 seconds or so. In Nautilus, it's constantly jostling around all the images and this goes on for about 20 minutes and finally it stops. Scrolling through is terribly slow, too and silky smooth on Windows 7. I'm using both Operating Systems on an SSD drive. How can I rectify this problem?
Since the problems happens to multiple file managers, it might be likely that it's a filesystem problem. Try adding disabling access time (add noatime to fstab), and if you're using ext4, try disabling write barriers (add barrier=0 to fstab).
The noatime flag tells the filesystem not to record the last access time. Recording access time means that even opening a file will cause an unnecessary write operation; most program never use access time and so it usually can be safely turned off nowadays.
Secondly, write barrier in ext4 prevents data loss under very specific circumstances, although it comes with a performance penalty to certain write-intensive applications. Write barrier is new in ext4, so if data reliability like in ext3 is good enough for you, then you can turn off write-barrier.