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According to what I found on this subject, the calculation of mining speed for stone would go like this:

  1. stone has hardness of 1.5
  2. base mining time is 1.5 times hardness in seconds - 2.25 s.
  3. diamond pickaxes has a mining speed factor of 8
  4. efficiency 4 adds 1+4*4=17 to this factor,
  5. while efficiency 5 adds 1+5*5=26
  6. 2.25 seconds divided by 8+17=25 is ~0.09, divided by 8+26=34 is ~0.065
  7. actual time it takes to break a block is always rounded up to next increment of 50ms, so in both cases we get 10 blocks per second

Since producing pickaxes with efficiency 4 is significantly faster than efficiency 5, I am trying to establish the practical difference between the two. Obviously, efficiency 5 has the advantage of instamining stone when combined with beacon 5, but other than this it seems the gains are limited.

I am playing on a multiplayer survival with a small community. I obtained villagers for dirt cheap diamond gear and experience, I am supplying those to the other players. If I was my own customer, I would have always wanted to buy the best gear, but efficiency 5 tools require a little bit more time to make and I just realized their benefits are very circumstantial.

Basically, assuming you're not using a beacon with haste, no of the common blacks that people may want to remove in large batches to create corridors or large spaces can be mined faster with diamond pickaxe eff5 rather than eff4, am I right? But maybe some of the construction blocks are actually removed faster when you're redoing some space?

I am playing on Java Edition 1.16.4, in case game version is a factor please point out the difference. As an additional question, perhaps there are some common scenarios involving beacon, other than the case of stone?

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  • with Haste II (from a beacon), the difference is crucial: stone, granite, andesite, diorite can be insta-mined (1 gametick/block so 20 blocks per second). No so with Eff4.
  • Terracotta can be insta-mined with Eff5 and Haste I (using beacon with small base or a conduit).
  • there will be a small difference for nearly all blocks that take longer than 0.4s to mine with an eff4 pick (but pick is the right tool to mine them). That includes obsidian, endstone, ancient debris, nether brick, enderchests, also a lot of more common blocks in situations when mining speed is reduced (under water, levitating, swimming, under mining fatigue, hanging in cobweb, etc.) There are some exceptions e.g. mining speed of iron blocks remains reduced the same amount.
  • for great most blocks that can be mined in 0.4s (cobble, stone, and generally majority of building blocks) without haste there is no difference.

Essentially, any speed improvement that would result in breaking time shorter than 0.4s but longer than 0.05s (instamine) gets capped at 0.4s. In practice, that means the difference will be minor for players mining obsidian, endstone and nether brick, crucial for users of beacons, and mostly insignificant for the rest.

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