This is a very good question! And you shouldn't be surprised that the answer is yes. I will presume that you are using VSE8.8. You didn't mention whether you plan to improve performance through the use of ePO or is this a standalone version. Here are a few areas that could help you.
1. Make sure that the VSE is current to the latest acceptable patch.
2. There are five exclusion areas in this product. When we speak of exclusions we focus on areas where the VSE doesn't have to scan through advisory notices. What does that mean you say?
- On-Access Defaults
- Low Risk
- High Risk
3. Make sure that On-Access Defaults is changed so that low\high risk can be used.
4. Understand those applications that you use or those under the control by Microsoft to give you a starting point. After you put your list together pick a product on it. I'll get you started, how about Microsoft Sql or Exchange or AD or Forefront or Sharepoint.....
Now that you picked an application goto Google. In Google enter that application name followed by virus followed by exclusion. Your search will likely take you to a number of articles that will list exclusions that the manufacturer wants you to add into a non scanning process pool. That is where the low risk pool comes into play. If they indicate that the processes should NOT be scanned, you will turn off read and write access on the low risk pool. This would mean that the processes and\or files listed in that pool would not be scanned but they are "trusted" by the company who's article you are reading. Do no put anything else in the pool unless you are specificaly asked to do so.
Exclusions are misunderstood but can offer those areas where your system can get relief. Another example would be the softwaredistribution folder where Microsoft places updates, Virus scanning recommendations for Enterprise computers that are running currently supported versions of Windows.
5. Finally you could download the McAfee Profiler and run it on your system to see which programs are chewing up your performance. https://kc.mcafee.com/corporate/index?page=content&id=KB69683