Use of an internal processor data bus is maximized in a system where external transactions may occur at a rate which is fractionally slower than the rate of the internal transactions. The technique inserts a selectable delay element in the signal path during an external operation such as a cache fill operation. The one cycle delay provides a time slot in which an internal operation, such as a load from an internal cache, may be performed. This technique therefore permits full use of the time slots on the internal data bus. It can, for, example, allow load operations to begin at a much earlier time than would otherwise be possible in architectures where fill operations can consume multiple bus time slots (Full Patent Here).