Over the past few days I have been facing problems with the Android Emulator for my projects. It was slow, buggy, didn't start up projects on occasion, and was annoying. However, external issues (such as with IDEs) and in this case, with the emulators, should be fixed as early as possible in the project stage. This will increase Development time, and ensure efficient project/story completion and delivery.
If emulators are set up properly, they can run very smoothly. The Intel Hardware Accelerator Execution Manager (HAXM, http://software.intel.com/en-us/articles/intel-hardware-accelerated-execution-manager) combines with Android x86 emulation image and the standard Android SDK to make simulation "accelerated", i.e., much faster. Additionally, when setting up the AVD, in the AVD manager, select "Use Host GPU" in Emulation Options.
This will enable the emulator to run at a fast speed. Support is available for Windows, Mac and Linux.