Faster emulator: HAXM

Intel has a processor Virtualization Technology, that makes the emulator in Android Studio run a lot faster. The performance difference is really significant. Download the installer from Intel Developer Zone:

Intel® Hardware Accelerated Execution Manager

Android Studio SDK Manager also has a package for this, but the Intel installer is a lot more reliable.

Then you need to see that your VT-X (Virtualization Technology) is enabled in BIOS. It depends on your BIOS version, but it is usually under something similar to: Advanced > Intel Virtualization Technology.

Now create an AVD (Android Virtual Device) that uses a x86 image of Android OS.

When you get it to run correctly, Android Studio console Run tab will show:

HAXM is working and emulator runs in fast virt mode

 

More detailed instructions:

Installation Instructions for Intel® Hardware Accelerated Execution Manager – Microsoft Windows

Intel Developer Zone: How to Use the Intel® Hardware Accelerated Execution Manager