For the benefit of the internet-wide knowledge base, I discovered that about the time Optifine moved to version 1.5.1 A5, I became unable to use Minecraft. The symptoms were intensely strange. The game would start like normal, run at max frames per second for a second or two, and then slam to a dead stop for upwards of 10-15 seconds. I’d get another few hundred milliseconds of full FPS before another agonizing 0 FPS. Input is locked during that time, so I could pretty much only kill the Minecraft process in order to get my system back.

In my case, I like to run on OS X 10.8.3, using a Retina Macbook Pro. I used MagicLauncher with Optifine as the only mod, trying to get to the bottom of the problem.

A few discoveries:

  1. Deleting the optionsof.txt (OptiFine’s options file, separate from Minecraft’s) had no effect
  2. I realized that Optifine’s “Light” variant did not suffer from this problem. I typically use Ultra, but even Standard had the issue, so this was interesting. “Light” doesn’t give you any GUI options though, so it’s less than ideal.
  3. Deleting the options.txt (Minecraft’s options file) solved the problem

But why? I discovered that using Advanced OpenGL (set to either Fast or Fancy) was causing the horrendous performance trainwreck. It’s interesting, actually, because this is a setting that I never played with after setting it a long time ago. Something changed on my system that the new OptiFine was bringing out into the light.

While it’s easy to blame OptiFine, I actually think this might have started when an OS update for my laptop model came out. I only vaguely remembered that there had been such an update, but I had looked forward to it because it purported to solve a graphics issue that caused reduced FPS in some instances. I had eagerly taken the update because I had suffered from the problem it described, but I suspect it opened up this new issue that I began experiencing in Minecraft with Advanced OpenGL set to “fast” or “fancy”.

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10 Responses to Minecraft 1.5 Optifine — Startup Freezes

  1. Tobi97 says:

    Thanks a lot!!
    I got this problem too on my iMac!
    Now I can use optifine again!

  2. dongk99 says:

    ive figured that when you turn your Advanced GL off when you log in(or play), the freezing lag will disappear. than turn on advanced GL and it will have no problem (worked for me)

    • Tim says:

      That is true, but I found that the next time Minecraft starts, the freezing problem happens again. I decided it wasn’t worth the trouble.

      • echo68 says:

        I would agree wit you, Tim, but without turning on the Advanced GL after a few minutes of gameplay, I suffer from FPS drops. I’m looking into a way to have the plugin turn Advanced GL on after a few seconds in game.

    • Justin says:

      My god you’ve figured it out. I have been tearing my hair out over this problem for hours and hours, and here comes this easy simple solution. This is perfect, thanks!

  3. Steve says:

    This happen to my mac as well. Totally going to give it a try. Big thanks!

  4. Matthew X. Economou says:

    Thanks for figuring this out. This happened to me, too, after I upgraded from Mac OS X 10.8.2 to 10.8.3. The release notes don’t mention display driver updates, but they do mention a display-related bugfix. Also, this affected two different Macs, one older (2008) and one brand new (2012), so I don’t think it’s driver-related.

  5. Miriam says:

    is this a macbook pro retina problem? i have the same problem with my 15″ mbpr.
    i have deleted optifine and it works again, but i realy love optifine :(

    • Tim says:

      I unfortunately don’t have another MBP to test it on, but my gut says that if your setting is ON and it’s crashing, turning it off is probably a good way to get back to normal.

  6. Isaac Moore says:

    Thank you so much! I too noticed this after installing an OS X software update, and I thought my chances of playing with Optifine were gone. Thanks!

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