Alienware Alpha recommendation

Looking at an Alienware Alpha to run Zwift and looking at 3 options.

3 Options:

  1. i3-4170, w/4GB DDR3 @ 1600MHz and NVDIA GeForce GTX GPU 2G GDDR5 for $489

  2. i3 6100T, w/8BG DDR4 at 2133MHz and AMD Radeon R9 M470X GPU 2G GDDR5 for $588

  3. i5 6400T w/8GB DDR4 at 2133Mhz and GeForce GTX960 GPU 4GB GDDR5 for $784

All with 256GB SSD


Does anyone have an experience with the Zwift performance of these systems or the relative differences in performance?

Thank you in advance.


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i would you sugest you find somthing with the newer gtx 1060 than to 960. it will be 140% better if my memory is correct. but zwift does not reqire it. i actuly think zwift is more tazing on the cpu than gpu baced on the reqirments

go to the bottom of the page and you can see to pc specs reqirments.


also alienware in my experiance tens to be a bit on the pricy side because it is a well known brand like apple. 

a few notes on what you have posted

  1. i3-4170, w/4GB DDR3 @ 1600MHz and NVDIA GeForce GTX GPU 2G GDDR5 for $489

i see this a to old being it is using ddr3 and a cpu from the begining of 2015 and i see this a unfit, just to old. but it will work for basic graphics, this will not show you anying fancy

  1. i3 6100T, w/8BG DDR4 at 2133MHz and AMD Radeon R9 M470X GPU 2G GDDR5 for $588

an i3 is good ans it is skylake whitch as i am writing this it just turned to last a last gen cpu…but it is about a 10% difrence between to new and old. ddr4 memory has abace clock of 2133, the gpu was launched march of last year, and the 470 desktop card it a good one, i dont know about the laptop version. gddr5 is the standerd on the new gpus.

  1. i5 6400T w/8GB DDR4 at 2133Mhz and GeForce GTX960 GPU 4GB GDDR5 for $784

the i5 is a good cpu and it is skylake, but if you are only doing zwift and whant to best i would sugest a i7 seeing that it uses to cpu more. 8gb is fine, the 960 is a good match on the i5 for zwift seeing that is calles for a i7 with a 970. this is a balenced system. 

it will be hard to find a gaming mini pc witha i7 because games usualy dont require more than a i5 because more prosesing power is put on the graphics card

the msi trident is a good small pc.


this is the pc i have

that 1300 is a good price. and the smaller 15 in verion is cheeper right now. 

i got my pc for 1250 before tax


i hope that helps

i was also thinking about a nvidea sheild, but i dont think you can side load games on to it.

Konor sacks thank for the additional insight and recommendations. 

I also ran across a the new Dell  Inspiron 15 7000 Gaming for $1077 that looked pretty good as well.   Seemed like that might be enough to get into Ultra mode and still be a usable general purpose laptop.

  • 7th Generation Intel® Core™ i7-7700HQ Quad Core (6MB Cache, up to 3.8 GHz)

  • 16GB DDR4 at 2400MHz

  • NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1050Ti with 4GB GDDR5

  • Dual drives with 128GB Solid State Drive+ 1TB 5400 rpm Hard Drive



Dave, I have an older Alpha with an i3 and it runs fine.  (I run 720p at 60fps) I disagree with  Konor, you do not need a high-end CPU to run Zwift.  I am hard pressed to get to 15% CPU usage.  A good GPU is far more important.  I’d say it depends on your budget

Original Dave.
What is your budget?
And are you going to play any other games besides zwift?
And that PC you found uses the just released at the beginning of CES 1050, witch it a great card, and the I7 that it has was also just launched.

My computer is using the gpu- at around 35 % and 15%of the CPU. I think because I am not using the integrated graphics my using is lower. If I do change my computers power settings from high performance to battery saver, it does raise my CPU usage alot to around 35% and my GPU lowed to close to 30% . I did disable my GTX 1060 and I still got a smooth image on integrated graphics, so a dedicated graphics witch is built in to the I7 so dedicated graphics is not necessary on zwift, I just couldn’t view my my CPU usage as my MSI dragon center crashed when I try to view my usage…Lol

I have found a piece on reditt from 10months ago witch I will post in the next comment as I found it on my PC not my phone.


also the $930  laptop looks fine  to me vs the one you showed me.

I’d go i5 - myself I have i7 A-51 with 11tb hd and 1.25 tb SSD   1080 card. I span the zwift window over two displays.

That is a nice setup!

I am guessing you play other games on that…


I don’t know if you’ve “pulled the trigger” on a new system yet, but here’s my 2 cents. 

I run Zwift on an Alienware Alpha i5 with output to a 48" HDTV.  I can run Zwift maxed out without any problems.  That said this is a dedicated computer without any unnecessary apps running in the background.  Love the computer…no complaints there.

However, Alienware is owned by Dell.  My purchasing experience (specifically Dell “customer service”) for this computer was so bad that I will never buy another Dell product…ever. 


i would sugest you go for the msi trident because it is a full desktop pc in a itx(small) case. and my support from msi has been great!!!

Thank you for all of the feedback on computers for Zwift. It really helps having performance details from actual systems.  I ended up going with the Dell Inspiron 15 7000 Gaming,

While a base i3 Alienware Alpha would seem to work, I was a little concerned that what works today, might not be enough in the future. An i5/GTX 960 seemed to hit the mark, but given that a laptop system was only about 25% more than a dedicated system at that point, it seemed worth the extra cost given the additional usage.  I went with the i7 version, more to get the dual SSD/HD than the i7 processor, which didn’t appear to make much of a difference.

Thanks again for all of the help.


Good choice!
Enjoy your new PC.
If you ever what to be able to play PC games a popular application is “steam” it is a market place and a game portal, but if you do get the application don’t buy anything unless it is on sale, every summer and winter they have a massive sale with current titles at 30-90% off.
Happy riding/gaming
Feel free to add me everywhere my username is always “konorsacks”

*Edit: missed the comment where you say you bought your new computer. Nevermind my comment :slight_smile:

I have a gaming PC I built myself for gaming. 

CPU: i3-4170

GPU: MSI Gaming GTX 960 4GB

Memory: 8 GB

I used MSI Afterburner when running Zwift last night and I got 45fps average on a 4K resolution, solid 60 on 1440p and rock solid 60 on 1080p.

Hope this helps!

I ended up going with the Dell Inspiron 15 7000 Gaming.  Some problems with Shipping.  Arrived at the local FedEx distribution center but never made it to a deliver truck.  Dell was actually very helpful in arranging for a new Laptop to be sent to me long before FedEx officially acknowledged that they couldn’t find it.  

It arrived and it looks spectacular at 1440.  Thanks for all of your help.  Loving it!


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