Thank you all for your replies and suggestions. I was experiencing lag times of 10+ seconds in develop and library modules.
Found this from adobe http://helpx.adobe.com/lightroom/kb/optimize-performance-lightroom.html
Set my settings as follows and I believe it did the trick:
in Catalog Settings:
Standard preview is set to 1024
Preview Quality: Low
To turn off autowrite XMP, do the following:
Click the Metadata tab, deselect Automatically Write Changes Into XMP.
After settings these settings I ran the render 1:1 previews
Library > Previews > Render 1:1 Previews.