Hi all - I’m going to treat myself to a new laptop dedicated for Zwifting this holiday season. There are many options online. What are your recommendations? My budget is around $1,300 so hoping to get a good Black Friday deal on something with high end CPU & GPU specs.
I’ve had an iPad, and an older HP laptop that have caused a lot of pain for me. Please don’t recommend Apple TV, a TV isn’t an option for my Zwift cave right now.
But if you absolutely have to go for a laptop (please don’t), I’d just go for something with a GTX 1650 Ti, strong i5 and IPS 60Hz 1080p display. 8GB RAM and smallest SSD possible. You’ll get Ultra profile and can run the game pretty well on the 1440p resolution setting for a nice sharp image on an FHD display. Shouldn’t be anywhere near $1,300.
11th Gen Intel Core i7-11800H
GeForce RTX 3060
16 GB DRAM
512 GB SSD
Costco 3 months return policy and extra year of warranty
$1,100 + $9.99 shipping and handling
You need to be a Costco member to buy it, though, as it is a “member-only item”. But, if you are not a member, an annual membership (which is like $60) would still be saving you quite a bit of money on this purchase. Or find a friend who is a member, they will be able to use your credit card number and your shipping address.
If you are on the East Coast and a member of Sam’s Club (which we do not have at all on the West Coast), they may have their own promotions.
I got a Dell with similar specs specifically to run Zwift back in spring. It runs zwift fine. Just be aware that those gaming laptops are bricks, literally. They are heavy and large (because of a massive GPU and all that cooling to take its heat away), and they come with a power supply which alone weighs like one of those super duper (but not suitable for Zwift) hair-light laptops. Mobile RTX 3060 also generates a good amount of heat, so you need to keep it plugged in while riding on Zwift, or you will run out of battery in 40 mins. When you do office work on it, it turns off RTX 3060 completely and runs on internal graphics.
These are the types of specs I’m looking for in a laptop, thanks! Just curious, which Dell do you have? By the way I grew up on the west coast and am a huge fan of Costco. Unfortunately since moving east I canceled my membership since they’re not that good over here.
Sorry, I missed your question. It is probably too late to answer, but still… I got a Dell G3 15, which was on sale for $1050 at the time when I was looking for a computer. It comes with RTX 2060 GPU (6 GB mobile version), i7-10750H, and 16 GB RAM. I was open to both, gaming laptops and desktops, my main criterion was to get a fast GPU. Mobile RTX 2060 is slower than desktop version, and I found that Zwift, Rouvy, and BigRingVR load my GPU pretty much all the way (like, to 90%).
Dave, excuse my ignorance, but why is buying a laptop just for zwift a bad idea? my existing zwift laptop died and I need a new device. I like watching videos occasionaly when I’m just spinning so the laptop method has worked fine for me in the past.
They’re just really poor value for money, for any gaming but especially Zwift. Virtually everyone is better off building a cheap Zwift desktop system (doesn’t have to be from scratch) and then buying a normal laptop if they also need one. Zwift is a 3D game, you’d need a gaming laptop with dedicated graphics card:
No building required
Very expensive for what you’re getting
Not upgradable in any meaningful way
Compromised performance (thermal/power limits)
Waste of a screen (assuming you plug it into a bigger one)
Pointless battery [which is dying]
Proprietary parts throughout
Difficult/impossible to repair
Confusing model variants
Constantly setting it up isn’t actually convenient at all
As an example, the mobile 2060 mentioned in the post above is about the same raw performance as a desktop GTX 980. I recently put one of those into a system with a 12th gen i3 which performs massively better in Zwift than the 10th gen mobile i7 referred to. It cost less than half the amount of that laptop, which was ‘on sale’… It’s just throwing money away and tying yourself into a product with limited lifespan by design.