I'm wondering what version of OpenGL is best for Minecraft. Currently, I'm running Windows XP (2G RAM), OpenGL 2.1, JRE 5 (and Minecraft 1.2.5, haven't downloaded the latest yet).

Minecraft runs well (although I have Render Distance set to Normal, or it's too slow).

Would it be worth the hassle, of upgrading/installing the latest OpenGL (4.2)? What effect would it have on Minecraft, if any?

Update: I'm running 32-bit Windows XP, with a GeForce 7600 GS 256MB (fairly old, I know). As for OpenGL, it came with XP. When I checked with an OpenGL Viewer, it told me the version was 2.1. Whether that was what came with XP, or was installed by Minecraft, I don't know.

  • minecraft comes bundled with its own opengl library... – l I Aug 7 '12 at 3:14
  • @yx, any documentation for that? If so, sounds like an answer. – Cyclops Aug 7 '12 at 10:45
  • @Cyclops I think he's confusing OpenGL with LWJGL. LWJGL comes with Minecraft. – smoth190 Aug 8 '12 at 0:21
  • The performance problems in Minecraft most likely don't come from OpenGL. – Gnoupi Aug 17 '12 at 14:10
  • Unless you have Advanced OpenGL on. – Timtech Aug 19 '13 at 19:35

OpenGL drivers are usually part of the graphic driver package (though there's also a default implementation on the Windows installation media); in your case, NVidia's. They have to be to access the hardware on a low level and to know which extensions and capabilities are implemented by the hardware.

So the basic answer is: Update the drivers for your graphic card. That's the most recent version of OpenGL you're going to get. That's also the most bug-free, usually, and thus recommended.


When you say Windows XP with OpenGL 2.1, do you mean your graphics card supports up to OpenGL 2.1? If that's the case, don't upgrade. I didn't think you could even upgrade OpenGL, and I've never heard of anyone upgrading it. Minecraft uses LWJGL, and I don't know if it has it's own internal OpenGL library which can't be upgraded.

No matter what the case, I would think a lower version would run faster. I know if I run games on DirectX 8 instead of DirectX 9, I get way better FPS, even if my graphics card supports DirectX 11.

If you have a 64-bit operating system, but are using a 32-bit JRE, that will make it run slower, so make sure that's all sorted out!

  • The link for LWJGL says "provides developers access to high performance crossplatform libraries such as OpenGL" - doesn't mention installing it. – Cyclops Aug 7 '12 at 10:44
  • @Cyclops - OpenGL most of the time installed by the program that requires it. Direct X is also installed in a similar way. In both cases only the version the game was compiled against can be used. – Ramhound Aug 7 '12 at 11:41

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