Snapshot 13w49a fixed some big bugs, namely large render distances now actually work (best seen on Singleplayer). Minecraft 1.7.3 shall pre-release tomorrow (Friday!)
To get snapshots, open your launcher and press the “New Profile” button. Call it “snapshots” and check the box saying “Enable experimental development snapshots” and save. To switch to the normal version, you can select it in the dropdown at the bottom left corner of the launcher.
Credits: The Minecraft and Minecraft Realms teams