Hi, I am a bit confused. Does Zwift actually support 4K? In settings on Zwift, I only see low medium and high res with 1080 being high… I have an nvidia quadro 2200 graphics card which I know isn’t much… Do I need a higher end card that zwift recognizes so it gives a 4K mode or something? Or is there somewhere better to ask about this? I am starting to tweek my system to the best I can get, but I want to know theres going to be a real difference if I splash out 3 or 4 hundred bucks on a gtx 10xx or something or the replacement for that if I could ever find one in stock and that its going to be true 4K from start to finish. thanks, appreciate any help on this.
Zwift supports 4K resolution, yes. However in order to be able to select it (and see higher levels of detail - which cannot be selected like resolution can), your graphics card needs to be on a list that they manually add cards to. If you’re limited to 1080p then your Quadro is not on that list I’m afraid.
Edit: in fact your GPU gets Medium profile, the same as a GT 1030. A pretty big step up from integrated graphics and Apple TV, but two tiers below the highest profile which is Ultra. Confusingly the resolution options use the same naming scheme even though they are two separate aspects of graphics quality in Zwift.
As for what GPU to look for, a GTX 980, 1060 or 1650 Super (and above in any series) will comfortably maintain 60fps at 4K and Ultra profile/detail in Zwift in most solo ride situations. There are some places where they will dip below, the jungle being the worst. Group events are totally different, and your frame rate will be CPU bottlenecked whether you have a GT 1030 or an RTX 3090, at any resolution.
So where is Zwift’s published list of cards that they support for an ultra graphics profile ?
They don’t publish one. Easiest way to check what profile a card will get is to look on the historical Zwiftalizer benchmarks but in general: integrated graphics and Apple TV get Basic, GT 1030 and some older cards get Medium, GTX 750 Ti and 950 get High, 960 upwards and newer get Ultra.
Newly released GPUs normally default to low end graphics until they are assessed and added to the relevant list. For example the GTX 1650 was available to buy for almost a year before it got Ultra profile. The AMD 6800 series has just been added in the latest update, four months after release. Apple M1 devices got Medium when launched, which was quickly upgraded to High then later downgraded slightly to take rider shadows away. All this is done manually, all anyone can do is nag them.
Thanks again, I just grabbed a used gx 970 for $269 off ebay… I can’t believe the card was released like 5 years ago
Yikes. But yeah, that’s the climate we’re in at present.
The GTX 970 will get Ultra detail and smash 1440p60 easily (run the resolution setting the card can do rather than what your display resolution is, it still looks better). Might do 4K with a tidy overclock too.
Wait, so it might not do 4k? that is why I bought it! Any details on overcloking? I just got a 4K tv specifically for this… any links would be nice.
Sorry, to clarify you’ll certainly be able to select 4K. What I’m referring to is its ability to hold 60fps in most solo rides. I’d usually recommend a tier up from the 970 for that, as per my previous reply above.
Right, ok, this is all pretty new to me… so it won’t do 60fps if there are other riders and it gets busy? Does it vary frame rates automatically? Will I notice that?
Just hoping I made the right decision about the 970, but finding anything above that either in stock or reasonably priced was a nightmare… probably best once I get my hands on it to figure things out – hopefully. I’m a major tech head, but I haven’t gamed for many years now, so I am not uptodate on latest GPUs and what they can do.
As I mentioned above, when it’s busy the graphics card and resolution in use doesn’t matter because CPU becomes the bottleneck. This behaviour happens for basically everyone without a very fast or very modern CPU and those are expensive.
On a TV the frame rate dropping manifests itself as repeated frames, which looks like stutter. Some people are more sensitive to this than others.
Very fast CPU – I have a 4 core i7 clocked at 3.4GHz, about a 4 or 5 yr old dell precision workstation that I am going to be using for this once the card comes in, I expect that will do pretty well on the CPU front? I can’t remember the generation of the I7 but precisions don’t tend to slouch around.
i7 alone doesn’t mean much, there are some pretty bad ones. What exact model is it? Cores mean literally nothing in Zwift btw, it’s fine on a good dual core. But fast in this context means 5GHz or more.
Should be fine. I used a Precision mobile workstation with an i7-6820 (circa 2013 or so) up to a few months ago and it worked fine. Desktop CPUs are stronger than mobile.
Oh it’ll certainly work fine.
It’ll just tank well below 60fps in a busy group event, like virtually every other system that’s not based on a 5000 series Ryzen or heavily overclocked Coffee Lake CPU onwards.
bill, I am worried that you might find that this graphics card does not work for you. The problem is that Dell is known for value engineering which makes upgradability of their PCs fairly limited. (It is not only Dell, other big box suppliers are the same). The main limiting factor is power supply. High end graphics cards are power-hungry. Many of them come with 2 or 3 fans and require several power cables to deliver the required wattage which can range up to 300 watts to 500 watts! You can google power requirements of GTX 970. A quick look in Google showed that recommended total wattage of power supply required to run this card is 700 - 800 watts (this is based on generic estimate how much other components require, there are accurate power requirements calculators on the web if you want to do it). Most office-type Dell PCs ship with power supplies rated in the 350 - 450 watts range, just because they are a little smaller and cheaper, and often only with power connections which are required for the shipped configuration (so if your GPU requires two power cables, and you have only one, you are screwed). It sufficient to run the card with which the PC ships, but might not be enough to support an upgrade, and with oftentimes customized motherboards and limited space in the chassis, upgrade of the power supply may be problematic or impossible. Only Alienware PCs (the gaming PCs subdivision of Dell) ship with power units rated over 800 watts or more, depending on the ordered configuration.
If your power supply cannot deliver the required power, expect that your computer will not turn on at all, or will randomly restart for no reason.
You can quickly check how much power your current card requires, and how it compares with GTX 970.
This is a good reason to assemble a PC on your own from scratch, but unfortunately GPUs are in very tight supply and market price is very high…
Good point, I assumed his Quadro would have external power but the exact model looks like it’s PCIe bus powered only. Hopefully he’s got 24pin motherboard power so the PSU is a straight swap for a new ATX replacement, otherwise it’s going to need cable adapters. I wouldn’t use those personally.
Hmmm…ff yes, it only has a 365w ps… disappointing as this is an engineering workstation… and from what I can tell, it doesn’t have standard MB power connectors – but there is an article about hacking it… but not sure I can be arsed with all that at the end of the day as it is currently my home security camera DVR and backup domain controller so I was going to have to do a lot of rebuilding stuff to free it up anyway.
Geesh, haven’t built a computer in yonks –
You guys seem to know your stuff, any recommendations for Mobo and processor that won’t break the bank and a good case with big enough PS stock? And a good supplier of said parts?
Haswell (4th gen) is the sweet spot for Zwift value, and a mATX H81 board is fine. i3-4130 upwards is all you need. Grab a new 500W ATX power supply from a brand you’ve heard of, stick it all in any old case. Or just buy an HP 400 or 280 G1 MT (these have 24pin power on the motherboard) and upgrade the PSU. Ensure it has 8GB of DDR3 and a 120GB SSD. Install Windows from a bootable USB stick. Don’t worry about the licence, if there’s a key on the motherboard it’ll activate itself (and there’s no drawback to it not doing so anyway). Use eBay and Amazon for everything. Job done.
Example of the prebuilt route. Would have to check your 970 will physically fit, otherwise it’s just needing a new PSU and an SSD.