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I saw that video that Notch posted to show how map are generated.

As you can see, the map doesn't seem to lag and load much. It appear so quickly. Is it possible to load a map that fast on SMP, any compression possible to achieve that ?

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I'm not sure compression is going to be the limiting factor in the first place... –  Raven Dreamer Sep 2 '11 at 4:16
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up vote 7 down vote accepted

I'm fairly sure (not 100% so don't sue me if I'm wrong) that that video was sped up and he actually was flying much slower over the terrain, but sped it up to show it off in a shorter video.

I've never been able to find a mod that optimizes the world, as I'm sure if one existed, Notch would incorporate it into retail minecraft straight away.

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Nope, you're right – the video is definitely sped up, as time passes very quickly. –  Kevin Y Sep 2 '11 at 4:31
    
Even with the speed up, it's still really impressive how fast it is –  Warface Sep 3 '11 at 1:55
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Not really. The video was almost certainly recorded on a powerful PC that could generate Minecraft terrain without straining the CPU. –  SevenSidedDie Sep 5 '11 at 3:45
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I have indeed successfully run an SMP server that loaded (already generated) terrain that quickly (there was some noticeable delay when it had to generate and then load new terrain, but not much). I didn't use compression, though, but instead bypassed the disk I/O bottleneck by running the world from a RAM disk (i.e. the files are read from and written to RAM instead of a hard disk). This page describes how this can be accomplished if you're running your SMP server from a Linux host; if you're running it from a Mac host, it should be very similar, whereas a Windows host will be wildly different.

Note that this approach only eliminates disk I/O as a bottleneck; a high-latency and/or low-bandwidth network will still result in very choppy/sloppy world loading, as will an under-powered CPU on the server and/or client, or too little RAM on either.

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