Mac Mini M1? Dedicated PC?

Hi Zwifters,

I’m wondering about a couple of things.

  1. I have a Mac Min M1 which seems to run Zwift OK, giving me slightly better graphics than Apple TV 4K. Problem is, the Mini sits about 10 ft away from the 4K TV and my HDMI cable is cheap and the signal keeps cutting out. Can someone who uses the Mac Mini M1 (or any MacOS device) with a 4K TV that’s 10 ft away tell me what HDMI cable works best?

  2. Does anyone know of a place that sells, or a person that builds PCs, specifically for Zwift, that provides the best graphics possible for Zwift? Additionally, I’m guessing that the TV matters too. Assuming there is a place that sells or a person that builds, which TV should be used? I have a Samsung UN65NU6900 and a LG CX77.

I purchased this one from Amazon. It gets a Best Choice from Amazon Editorial board and has 28,000 reviews. I connect a Mac M1 mini to a 65" LG OLED TV with a 10’ one. I don’t have any screen blanking. The issue with building a PC is that graphics cards are hard to come by. People have resorted to buying inferior gaming PCs they don’t want only to remove the graphics card.

Hit up ZPCMR on FB or ask @Dave_ZPCMR - no-one better for advice on Zwift PC’s (he knows hold to build without over-engineering (ie cost)).

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In terms of HDMI cables cutting out I’ll be surprised if it’s the quality of the cable, that distance isn’t excessive.
I tend to use pretty cheap ones and haven’t had such an issue.

With regards to a PC again you don’t need to go mad. It’s mostly about the graphics card.
The itself can be 4th gen i3 and above with 8mb RAM. Make sure you get an WAS rather than a traditional hard drive, the speed difference is remarkable.
Graphics card needs to be a GTX 960 or above.
This will be the expensive part.

Dave has some fantastic guides which he’ll hook you up with and offers the best advice on this subject bar none.
He’ll tailor your tv with the most appropriate setup.

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Thanks for the kind comments. To be clear, I just buy parts as a hobby and put them together into Zwift PCs every now and then. It’s certainly not a business, else I’d be losing a fortune. :rofl:

I’ve done a lot fewer recently because of two factors; the main thing being graphics card pricing and availability (even on the used market) but also the crazily high hardware demands of Makuri Islands which makes a lot of the concepts suitable for the rest of the game irrelevant.

Anyway the group has lots of guides and tips on what to buy for the best value to performance, but it’s largely explained above. 4th gen i3, 8GB of RAM, 120GB SSD and a GTX 1050/960 or higher will get you 80-90% of the way to maxing out the game and can still be done for Apple TV money with the right deals. This setup will run Ultra profile and 60fps in 1440p resolution most of the time solo, 30-50fps in busy areas, group events, with a busy Pace Partner etc, and 20-40fps on Makuri Islands. There’s a number of other things to consider but for use on a TV, that’s the easiest way to go.

If new parts are desired, I’d wait for the upcoming i3-12100 and H610 chipset motherboards - neither of which have been officially announced yet.

All that said, there’s no reason your Mac Mini should be cutting out over 10ft. Just make sure you buy a Premium High Speed HDMI 2.0 cable and it should work fine. Brand is irrelevant. And make sure you’re using a 2.0 port on the TV itself.

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So with regards to my question about the optimal build, I really appreciate the feedback here.

I’m more looking for a turn key OOTB PC that requires no building anything myself. I was building PCs nearly 30 years ago and am past that stage in my life. If anyone knows of something that just works to max out the graphics on Zwift, straight out of the box, let me know.

Basically any prebuilt gaming PC you can buy brand new today will get Ultra profile and anything with any RTX card is more than fine running 4K. Ideally avoid AMD graphics cards for Zwift, stick with Nvidia. Problem is you’ll be paying an absolute fortune more than necessary - in the USA, I’d guess you’re looking at $1,000 at least - and if you want to hit 60fps at all times in all circumstances outside of Makuri add another $500. For Makuri Islands add another $500 on top of that. That’s the price of convenience in the current climate, the fact that components tend to scale with one another in prebuilts, and the absurdity of Makuri.

Minimum for 4K60 most places: GTX 1650 Super and 10th/11th gen i3.
4K60 everywhere outside Makuri: RTX 2060 and 5600X.
Including Makuri: RTX 2070+ and 12th gen i5 (requires expensive motherboard).
8GB RAM for all, 120GB SSD for all.

Bear in mind this is based on currently available parts. The 12th gen i3 will be worth waiting for. But prebuilt companies won’t pair it with a 2070.


For comparison, I recently put together a PC for someone that will do 4K60 in most places solo, 30-50fps in busy areas, in group events, with a popular pace partner etc, and 20-40fps in Makuri Islands. It was $330 (currency converted from GBP).

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Do you have a parts list for the one you recently built? May hit Newegg and put something together, if I can save 600.00z

It was all used parts, based on the same basic principles further up the thread; 4th gen Intel, GTX 970, 8GB DDR3 and SSD.

Thanks. This will be one of my 2022 projects.

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It’s not impossible to buy new/current graphics cards at reasonable prices, just very hard. The value is in used lower end cards, running 1440p resolution and potentially upgrading to something for 4K later. The rest of the system is pretty easy, and can be very cheap if you’re not bothered about frame rates dropping in CPU bound situations. If you are, the cost rockets. I have high hopes for the 12th gen i3 though, when they arrive. Will still be very expensive compared to used 4th gen of course (which are laughably cheap), but by no means outrageous for brand new parts.


I really wonder if you aren’t having internet connection issues. My M1 mini HDMI out to LG C9 65" runs seamlessly even in Neokyo, Yes, even in huge groups it runs without a hitch. I have done the badge hunts with nearly a 1000 riders and many big group rides with several hundred. Riding with big packs in Neokyo is the best it has ever been. IMHO. Maybe the LG C9 processor is picking up slack, after all it comes off the same fabs as Apple cpus. Okay, so there are no rider shadows. That and $2 will buy you a donut. By the way, I have Charter 400 mbps internet and I am hard wired over a TP-Link gigabit wireline adapter with cat 6e cables.

It’s definitely the HDMI cable. I usually have the Mini hooked via a higher quality shorter HDMI cable over to a Dell U4320Q. I have the same internet as you and can run Zwift on it without a single issue. When I run a cheap 15ft HDMI over to the Samsung it doesn’t get a signal to the TV at all. Then if I run another cheap 10ft HDMI cable of the same brand over to the Samsung, it works, but the video blinks every few seconds. I ended up ordering the brand cable recommended above. Going to try that out tomorrow. The Mini is on an extended warranty, because I bought it to edit videos, use, and abuse it. Might as well beat on it with Zwift too. I do want the shadows, but maybe Zwift will sort that out soon? Could save me the hassle of building another machine.


One more thing- I do have my mini sitting on a laptop cooling pad. Not that it is necessary but just another fact. Occasionally I have forgotten to turn the cooling pad on and the mini is warm after a Zwift episode. With the cooling pad on, it is stone cold. I bought the cooling pad when I was running an older MacBook Pro and it definitely needed it.

What I find irritating is that I have a 2019 MacBook Pro i9 with 8 cores and 32GB of RAM and Zwift runs like crap on it, the fan runs full out and the battery drains super fast. I was surprised. I guess this speaks to the video card points made above. It has a Radeon Pro 5500M with 4 GB of dedicated GDDR6 memory and an Intel UHD Graphics 630 graphics processor that shares memory with the system.

I couldn’t mark this as a solution because I asked two questions and Dave answered the other one. The cable you recommended solved the M1 Mini signal cut-outs. Thanks.

Now if Zwift will add shadows for the Mini, I (and anyone else with a M1 Mini?) will be all set.

… and I just bought the KICKR bike and the KICKR Indoor Cycling Desk. Breathing new life into my Zwift sessions.

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Glad the cable worked out! Way to go on the upgrades to your pain cave. At the moment I can’t think of anything else to purchase. Although I hear LG is going to be showing off a Zwift TV at CES this week. It will be comprised of three 55" panels. If it would give me a few more W/kg and take away thigh pain after a ride it would be a no brainer.

No worries on the Solution checkmark. Dave is a good man and despite being PC centric I still like him.


That’s exactly why I like him!