OptiFine, Better Minecraft Graphics, Faster FPS, HD Texture Pack Support
This Minecraft optimizing mod does a great deal for Minecraft, a great deal altogether. It boosts Minecraft FPS by a factor of three, provides precision weather and day / night controls, boosts view distance, and offers counseling for small emotional upsets.
The last claim isn't true of course, but the previous ones very much are. With OptiFine, the melding of two Minecraft peformance mods, OptiMine, OptiFog. Most users experience double FPS and graphically, even the default settings of Minecraft are improved with a smoother, cleaner feel. And, as a bonus, instead of patching your game separately with the HD Texture Pack patcher, OptiFine handles HD texture support natively.
What's really nice about OptiFine are the detail settings. You can tweak pretty much every detail of the game, including turning clouds off, stars off, even the weather can be removed from play. Oh and the sky. Did I mention you can turn the sky off? This is for people who can stand playing under a greyish haze – ie, British people.
Far view can extend view distance by a factor of three, but also reduces FPS by the same factor. It's a great setting if you like to see very very far away, but not so great if you're clinging on to a decent FPS by the skin of your teeth.
You can also tweak the Day / Night settings, making it possible to have always day time or always night time. This is handy for people who never much saw the point of Day and Night in the first place. Who needs night after all?
One of my favorite options is the ability to turn clear water on. That means you can see underwater for miles and miles, which is nice on maps with particularly deep water. Like the Earth world map – the map based on Planet Earth.
This mod is supposed to have Better Grass support, but tweaking Better Grass did approximately nothing for me however, on any setting. So your mileage may vary. There's probably a simple reason why it didn't work but it rather escapes me at this moment. Maybe because I installed Mod Loader and Too Many Items after the fact, which could be the issue. On that point, this mod is very much compatible with Mod Loader, with the possible exception of the Better Grass function.
The download links for this mod make the baby Jesus cry, (you get to play the 'guess which download link is actually the download link) but – fortunately for the modder – it is actually worth the download.