Constant freezing and weird rider behaviour

For the past six months Zwift has been super buggy, with my avatar freezing regularly for a few seconds intermittently throughout the ride. This is largely annoying during workouts, but makes group rides impossible as I get dropped straight away. Whilst the avatar is freezing, the other riders often veer all over the course (off road, the wrong direction etc.).

This has only happened in the past six months, and my previous 2+ years of Zwifting have been good. I have a reasonably mature laptoop, but the minimum spec had always worked perfectly well (albeit with graphics settings turned down etc.). Since having the problems, I’ve doubled the RAM in my machine, bought a cooling pad to keep temperature under control (it started during summer so I thought that may have been an issue) and have uninstalled everything from the laptop so it’s pretty much a Zwift only device now. None of this has worked, and it’s especially buggy during group rides with a larger pool of riders.

The Zwift support staff were initially supporting (ie trying to convince me it was all a problem at my end), but now they don’t respond to emails, so I’m reaching out here instead.

*edit incidentally, looking at the resource monitor during the group ride this morning, both CPU and RAM were around 30-40% usage, which seems like it should be usable to me.

Try Zwiftalizer.com to see if your Graphics Card can keep up, look at the FPS P5 if that is single digits then you might have a problem with the gPU not keeping up.

Tale one of the log files with a crash

and see if the FPS goes to almost Zero before the crash.
Yorur average FPS should be at least 15-20 (higher is better)

This may have some tips to improve your performance.

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I’ll do that, but with respect, that’s a lot of fuss considering I have over the minimum technical specifications and zwift has been fine for two years. I dare say many non technical users would just quit.

Looking at the log, my P5 score is 16 (avg 33, p95 40). Incidentally, I did a solo workout instead of the group ride and it was fine.

P5 @ 16 is pretty low if that was a solo workout. Group rides and Group Workouts is very taxing on the computer. What are your compute specs.

Intel® Core™ i3-4000M CPU @ 2.40GHz (4 CPUs), ~2.4GHz
12gb RAM
Intel ® HD Graphics 4600

Like I said, it’s been working perfectly fine, even on some large group rides for 2 years (with less RAM than I have now), but since June it’s been very buggy.

Have you checked to see if there is newer graphics drivers. That is the problem with a laptop you have good specs for everything except where it matter most the GPU.

It may also be time for a fresh install of windows.

Looking at Zwiftanalizer what Profile and Resolution are your system running on.

The profile is basic, the resolution 576. Incidentally, when I did a race on Sunday, the stats were 32/24/40, and it worked a charm (slightly smaller bunch of 20-30 I would say).

By the way, the driver on the GPU is up to date.

This just caught my attention, this can also be caused by network issues, what does zwiftalizer show for network errors if you look at a log file of a buggy group ride?

A little at the beginning (which Zwiftalizer says is normal) and then fine after that. For the record, my fellow riders weren’t riding cross country today, either in the group ride or my solo warm up ride that preceded it, but my avatar was freezing in both. It was even freezing in the pen waiting to start the ride.

Something seem a bit off. sorry you have issues.

The one other thing I would suggest is to completely reinstall a nice fresh copy of Windows and then only install Zwift.
Your laptop is at the lower end of the spectrum, so you need to give it the best change possible to succeed.

It is very frustrating, and very odd that it’s only started since the summer, and no amount of changes to both bolster and then free up the resources available appear to have returned things to the state it was in through 2017 to the summer of 2019. I’m going to try installing Windows10 to see if that makes any difference.

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Thanks for your help with this btw Gerrie. I’m not sure if you’re official Zwift support or just a enthusiastic member of the community, but it is appreciated.

I was having similar issues with intermittent screen choppiness where riders would start to flash on/off and go in random directions, and I would suddenly drop from the front of a group ride to the back of the pack. I ran the Zwiftilizer and found my FPS was on the low end of the spectrum (around 12-20 FPS).

I made sure my Nvidia 650 graphics card driver was up to date as the auto update feature for Nvidia had stopped working as expected. Then I made the following changes:

By changing these Nvidia video card settings
i) Set PhysX processor to actual video card not “Autoselect”
ii) Under “Global Settings” turn off Vertical Sync
By Changing these Windows settings
i) In Control Panel/System/Advanced/Performance/Settings/Visual Effects… Tick the button that says “Adjust for best performance”

I was able to get to around 30-35 FPS. My graphics performance improved, but I did notice large group rides with over 200 riders still caused poor graphics quality. The laptop that I was using was about 3 years old and just not getting it done.

Now, I am using a different laptop with Radeon RX Vega M GL card and I am getting closer to 40-50 FPS on the larger rides. I don’t have the screen choppiness, and I don’t go from the front of the group to the back of the pack for no apparent reason.

Hi @Adi_Gaskell_ZHR_B I am not official Zwift support I am just a very passionate zwifter. I am also one of tree Watopiawayfinders.

Thakns @Scott_Rost that is good information.

Thanks both. I’ve been doing a solo workout this morning (using Windows 10) and have had the same problem occurring. I’ve changed the display setting Scott suggested (I have an Intel graphics card so don’t think I can do any of the nvidia stuff)

Incidentally, I’m averaging 28 in zwiftalizer for my ride this morning, which should have been OK, but it was still freezing regularly.

You probably already have your Game Resolution set to 576, and may change Laptop Battery Saver to “Off-Max Speed.”

These items and the ones I mentioned above are about all I know to improve your performance besides buying a new laptop. I will probably be getting a new MSI Stealth laptop sometime in the near future.

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