Android emulator running slowly?
This is normal. The Android emulator works by using qemu to emulate an ARM processor on your Intel machine. What this means is that all processor instructions must be translated from Intel->ARM before your Android can execute them. Even with an i7 processor and plenty of RAM, this is S-L-O-W.
Solution? Android x86!
This Stackoverflow thread has several solutions to the performance problem. http://stackoverflow.com/questions/1554099/why-is-the-android-emulator-so-slow Basically, you install the Intel x86 Android images and run them through your hardware’s virtualization support, instead of an emulator. This thread from Intel tells you how to do it. http://software.intel.com/en-us/articles/installing-the-intel-atom-x86-system-image-for-android-emulator-add-on-from-the-android-sdk
Basically, you install the x86 images through Eclipse, then the appropriate virtualization software for your OS (this is discussed in the comments). Images for Windows and Mac can be found here: http://software.intel.com/en-us/android/articles/intel-hardware-accelerated-execution-manager (Linux uses kvm, which is part of the kernel.) Then, when you build an Android image, you set the CPU/ABI to Intel Atom (x86).
Note: If you are running Windows 8.1 or Mac OS X Mavericks, be sure to download the hotfix from Intel’s website. The “regular” version will crash your machine.
Does it work?
There seem to be some problems with the Kit-Kat (4.4.2) image, but the JellyBean (4.2.2) image works just fine. Under ARM emulation, videos were unplayable, even on the smallest screens. Under Intel x86, I am able to get smooth, fluid video on an emulated Nexus 10, a HUGE improvement.