A Guide to Advanced OpenGL and Minecraft


What is Advanced OpenGL?

Advanced OpenGL is a setting in the Minecraft “Video Settings” menu. It can be utilised to make Minecraft run faster through the use of occlusion culling. Occlusion culling is a process which allows Minecraft, your graphics card (GPU) and your processor (CPU) to work out what currently needs rendering in the game and what doesn’t.

Essentially this means that if you aren’t looking at something in the game then it won’t be processed by your graphics card. This is a great way to reduce the load that Minecraft has on your GPU, especially if you have a CPU good enough to make all of the calculations to work this out.

In order to use Advanced OpenGL whilst playing you will require a graphics card which supports OpenGL 2.0 or higher.

Should I have Advanced OpenGL On or Off?

Advanced OpenGL and MInecraftAdvanced OpenGL is commonly described as a great way of solving a “bottleneck” problem in your system.

If your CPU is much more powerful than your GPU then turning on Advanced OpenGL would be a great option, as it increases the load on your CPU and decreases the workload on your GPU. Users who will commonly have this kind of bottleneck in their system are users who are playing Minecraft on a laptop; systems which usually have better processors than they do graphics cards as they are generally not designed for gaming. Turning on Advanced OpenGL when you are on a laptop is likely to give you an increase in FPS and all-round performance.

Many players think that Advanced OpenGL should be turned on by default, perhaps just because it has “Advanced” in it’s name! However, the opposite is actually true if you are a gamer lucky enough to have a PC specifically designed for gaming or with a decent GPU. If your computer has a powerful graphics card it is likely that you will be better off just letting its do it’s job, rather than putting any extra load on your CPU.

There is no exact science to which combinations of GPU’s and CPU’s will benefit from having Advanced OpenGL turned on or off. Therefore I advise that you simply experiment with toggling the setting on and off and observing the affect that it has on your Frames Per Second (FPS). This can easily be checked by pressing F3 whilst in game and checking the number at the top left hand side of your screen.

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