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Querying for accounts

I have noticed that when I do the following query:
 Select Id, Name from Account

I get some bizarre differences in the amount of time it takes for the soap call to return. More often than not, this query takes 30 seconds to a minute to return. Sometimes, though, it returns rather quickly. If I change the query to something else:
 Select Id, Name from Opportunity

I see the same quick return everytime.

Is there something different about the Account table that is slower than the rest or is there a qualification I need to add to the Account query that would help speed up the results? The Account table I am querying from has no more than 150 rows in it so I don't think it is a size issue. Any help is appreciated.

By the way, make sure that you eliminate time of day when you are comparing Account vs. Opportunity return time. I'm unable to determine whether this is due to extra load on the server at some times or extra load on the Internet itself at some times. e.g. once I noticed a noticeable speed-up around 5:30 Eastern (US), which I attributed to people on the East Coast heading home. And the API runs fairly fast if you run it at 10 pm.

I've noticed a similar problem, which I posted today here on the forum.  You'll find the link to that post here:

Hopefully we'll hear of a solution soon.