somethen else must be the problem, epsxe usually loads right away and loading games takes less than half minute in my athlonxp 2400 with 512mb ram, perhaps ur hard disk is slow or not using U-DMA or somethen else, by the way, what u mean by a lot of time?
when i click on the ePSXe icon, my computer would freeze for quite some time. but I found no speed issues when playing a game.. its just that when i Click on the icon that all would freeze.. i suspect it is eating a lot of RAM.. but im not sure because my PC would only freeze if there is insufficient RAM and it seldomly happens (when I'm running more than 3 editing programs, Premiere, Flash, Photsohop)
That was going to be my recommendation: check your system resources. You have very little memory, and chances are you're one of those people with fifty things set to startup with Windows.
You should edit your registry, startup menu, and configure any individual programs showing up in your system tray to disable all non essential software from running at startup. Either that or spend some money for more RAM, which would really be the far better thing to do.