Now, I'm no developer nor am I a coder; but from what I've gathered Minecraft renders every single block, including the entities. You can test this yourself with Optifine zoom or lowering your FOV (field of view).
What I'm suggesting is to incorporate LOD--Level Of Detail--into the game. You can learn more about it with a quick google search (sadly can't link it)
In a nutshell, it essentially lowers lowers the polygon count of a distant object in a 3D world (Yes, even a single polygon: a cube), which, in theory, should increase the performance of the game.
As we all know, increasing the render distance in Minecraft lags; and it lags even the strongest of computers.
And it's a shame because exploring is a great aspect of Minecraft: imagine, you're with your friend--dog or mate--you climb a mountain, and there you can see the horizon: the biome you've been looking for, about 4 kilometers away (4 thousand blocks)
But, sadly, again, it's not possible for everyone; even those with the best of computers.
Hope I can hear more from people that have a better understanding in coding.