Hardware specs and new retina Macbook 12"


I’m in the market for a new computer. The just released 12" Retina Macbook is intriguing. Would it be able to run Zwift with a good framerate?

CPU is the Intel Broadwell Core - M and it has an embedded HD 5300 GPU, which seems to be slower than the HD 4000 recommended on your FAQ.

Thank you,

I’ve run Zwift on a 2013 MacBook Air and it works great in the Basic graphics setting. The new retina Macbook seems to have less power than that, and as you said, it is below Zwift’s specs. It may not run at all and if it does, I wouldn’t expect stellar results. 

I’m a huge Mac fan and the new MacBook Retina is a sleek piece of hardware if you want something ridiculously light with a retina display. The MacBook Airs just got nice upgrades, though, and will undoubtably run Zwift better. Additionally, you won’t need an extra ($70 or so) dongle to plug in the ANT+ stick. 

I should note, too, that I mostly run Zwift on a Mac Pro which will play it on Ultra graphics mode. The difference in graphics quality over the MacBook Air is huge and I think it makes Zwift much more enjoyable. If you want better graphics in a Mac laptop, consider the MacBook Pros which will get you into “high” graphics mode.

Thank you for your detailed reply, Christopher.

The updated Airs are a better choice, as you suggested. The new HD 6000 GPU is about 20% faster than the HD 5000. The current 13" Macbook Pros all have Intel integrated GPUs that are not much faster than the HD 6000 on the Air.




I’ve just looked at the prices of some simple Dell laptops. For half the price of a 11" Air, I can get a Dell with a GeForce GT 740M or AMD R7 M265. It’s tempting to go this route, even though I much prefer using OS X.

I bought a used gamer PC laptop for a small fraction of the price of any mac.  I only use it for this, the rest of my computing is on various macs

I have the 2015 retina MacBook. It runs Zwift fine. Probably not as high res as a Pro, but haven’t had any issues.