The real-world demands of mining big data and smart data of graph structure have led to an active research of distributed graph processing. Many distributed graph processing systems adopt a vertex-centric programming paradigm. In these systems, messages are passed between vertices to propagate the latest states. The communication efficiency and the high overhead of synchronization are two key considerations of these systems. In this work, we propose a Slow Passing Fast Consuming (SPFC) approach which can effectively improve the overall performance of vertex-centric graph processing systems. In our approach, the message passing is slow but the consuming is fast. More specifically, at the message sender side, priority is given to those smart messages which contribute more to the algorithm convergence, and at the message receiver side, messages are consumed right after arriving without any delay and intermediate buffer. Besides, by using a two-phase termination check protocol, the global synchronous barrier can be completely eliminated. In addition, based on the slow message passing strategy, further performance improvement can be achieved with some accuracy loss by eliminating those messages which are less useful for algorithm convergence. We implement our approach based on Apache Giraph and evaluate it on a 12-machine cluster. The experimental results show that our method can effectively reduce the amount of message traffic and achieve up to an order of magnitude performance improvement compared with Giraph and GraphLab.