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I currently use Ubuntu 10.10, and I find the emulator extremely slow. However, I have an Intel Core 2 Duo CPU (T5200 processor) with 4G of RAM. What do I need to improve performance? Better hardware? A minimal Linux distribution?

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Developer questions are off-topic, so I removed that aspect from the question since the emulator can be run by users too. –  Matthew Read Aug 26 '11 at 22:45
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up vote 5 down vote accepted

Unfortunately the emulator is extremely slow on all platforms. Better hardware will only get you so far.

Edit: Since there are now native x86 versions of the emulator, performance should be considerably improved. You should be able to get them through the SDK (or through Intel's website, see this Stack Overflow post).

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Thank you. I was thinking that I would need even more power for just an emulator. A dual-core with 4G is usually a good system, even by today's standards. –  jfmessier Aug 26 '11 at 23:49
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@jfmessier: I recall reading at one point that the emulator is actually confined to just one core, and that people tend to get better performance with a very high frequency single-core processor. That's probably where you're hurting the most - T5200 is fairly low on the Core 2 Duo frequency scale. –  eldarerathis Aug 27 '11 at 0:12
    
That makes much sense to me. And I realize that my cores are not the fastest ones. That would also mean that I should try to have a clean, small and fast installation of Linux that will leave more resources to Android emulator. –  jfmessier Aug 27 '11 at 16:59
    
I have a quad-core machine, but it is a i7 intel chip, which does some extra clocking (turbo) when it sees that only one core is used. It does this in 133 MHz (some versions in 100 MHz) steps. I see some speed up for Honeycomb in the startup, but later the emulator is still not usable. –  Cookie Monster Sep 17 '11 at 19:08
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There are now native x86 images that run faster –  ce4 Sep 18 '12 at 6:05
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