The Meaning of Life, the Universe, and Everything.
First, some background: there are a lot of popular youtube channels devoted to minecraft. Many of them have a tutorial or two on how to create various types of fully automated farms.
On a multiplayer server, these things can create quite a bit of lag, not just due to the farm itself, but from the item transportation system.
This is because for various reasons, the most popular way of transporting items from a farm to a sorting/storage system is a hopper pipe. Although hoppers only push an item every 8 game ticks, it can add up if lots of hoppers and lots of items are involved.
This idea is to add to the GUI of hoppers and droppers a checkbox labelled "Bulk", which by default, would be in the unchecked state.
When the checkbox is not checked, the hopper behaves as normal.
When the checkbox is checked, three things happen:
First, the hopper or dropper is retextured -- the shape remains the same, but the color changes to something other than shades of gray, so Bulk devices can be easily distinguished from normal ones from all sides.
Second, the frequency that it acts is slowed down by a factor of 63.
Third, when items are dropped, or pushed into a container, or pulled from a container, the device can act on a stack of items (up to 64) each time.
Normal hoppers can only suck stacks of items into themselves if those stacks are already item stack entities sitting in the space above themselves, but items in a container are pulled one at a time, and of course neither normal hoppers nor normal droppers can push out more than one item at a time.
When a hopper with the "Bulk" checkbox checked is mined, it's texture reverts to the original, and the next time the hopper or dropper is placed, it will once again need to be set by the player.