Most bullet-proof Zwift setup today?

Myriad quirks and foibles that come and go, with this that or the other types of OS, computer chip, trainer brand/model, etc. Leaving aside the published official ‘supported’ equipment list, if there’d be any consensus on what would be the most stable combination of all equipment/computing to have a more guaranteed problem-free experience if you were to start from scratch today?

Can you please give us more information of your budget, what are you aiming to achieve and what devices you are planning to use.

  • AppleTV 4k or iPad,
  • Tacx NEO2T,
  • Run the Companion App on a mainstream (read: not Huawei or Xiaomi) Android phone - Google Pixel would be solid,
  • Ensure you all of your operating systems and apps are up to date, and perform periodic force-close of apps, restarts of devices,
  • DO NOT use Companion App bridging,
  • If you choose to run tools like Blockada, ensure Zwift and the Companion App can bypass them.
  • DO NOT use a mesh WiFi network. DO ensure you’re using a reliable WiFi router. (ASUS are usually a good bet)

…and you will find ZERO consensus on this.

There won’t be a consensus, due to environmental differences in everyone’s home/apartment/shed/garage. Some people have better luck with bluetooth and an ipad while others have far better experiences with ant+ and a PC.


I agree with this point and possibly only this point :grinning:

Edit - actually I agree with the companion app bridging bit too.

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for me it’s been the original tacx neo, apple tv, a smart tv and a router - no problems for 3 years (now that i’ve said this it probably will fail this afternoon)

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Taking aside environmental and circumstantial considerations such as cost, wireless interference and your ability/willingness to put some effort in to your hobby, the answer is: anything. There are tons of people merrily using every platform and trainer.

Many people like to make a massive thing out of some platforms apparently being magically better than others when it comes to reliability of the game, but they aren’t fair and complete comparisons. Having issues on a ■■■■ old tablet or poorly maintained laptop doesn’t mean everyone should avoid Android and/or PC and go down the Apple route if they want to know their setup is solid. It just doesn’t work that way. Zwift has crashed on my PC a handful of times in many years, yet some would have you believe it’s inevitable and a regular occurrence. Apple TV and iOS devices were crashing at the top of the Alpe last year - there were a couple of hundred posts on here about it yet everyone somehow forgets that when recommending them as ‘bulletproof’. :thinking:

Almost all major issues are with the game itself, and what you’re running it on makes no difference. Which is as it should be, considering how much you’re paying for access to it.

thanks all. Yes, I guess budget and setup is relevant and should have specified some minimum parameters. Direct drive trainer to use preexisting bike on. No larger than laptop-sized machine to run the software (not interested in a desktop or tower), that could connect to a tv set in some manner (hdmi cable assumed). Somewhat speedy Internet thru wifi (i.e. not via cell service). So basically trainer and computer to run the app. Budget… let’s say $2-2.5K total

A couple mentions of ‘environmental’ considerations – is this about physical size available for setup?

Surprised maybe at the number of ATV mentions- is it my imagination that many more threads on issues that need worked on re: this platform? I am interested in what works best with Zwift (whether that’s either because it’s the equipment chosen works better naturally, or whether it’s because Zwift has fewer issues with supporting said equipment in software updates (I don’t care with which end the fault lies with). It’s not terribly difficult to find ‘problem’ topic threads here, but it is harder to determine which equipment combos has led to non-existent threads.

These two conditions coexisting massively constrains your options and/or increases the cost. Your budget is ridiculously high too.

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The better DD trainers (according to eg. DCRainmaker) run about $1100-$1400. Leaves $600 or so for computing. “Ridiculously high”? My query is not about best budget option, but most stable and perhaps future-proof option really (I’m not interested in a desktop personally since I oft put up and take down the whole indoor setup somewhat often – moving a desktop computer around and storing away isn’t something I want to do). Though of course realizing, that in theory you never really know what the next software update might adversely affect.

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Sorry, I didn’t read it properly and thought you already had a trainer leaving $2,500 for a device to run the game on. My mistake. But yeah, the budget doesn’t really matter regarding stability as long as you’re using the right tools for the job and set it up right. It’s another myth.

Fair enough, but the requisite cables would be exactly the same as a laptop, and possibly peripherals too depending on what you’d be using. Many desktop cases are a lot smaller than you may imagine, despite fitting a full-size system inside. I wouldn’t recommend any laptop for Zwift personally, there are too many compromises.

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Thanks. I guess I am curious what’s left behind using a laptop? Aside from the portability, with a laptop, well, I can use it for other things while it sits on my lap :slight_smile: And often wouldn’t probably object too much to using it’s screen for actual zwifting if I setup where I don’t actually have a TV.

Zwift is a 3D video game, so you’d need a proper gaming laptop. If you have circumstances meaning there’s no other choice then okay, otherwise my thoughts are here from a while ago: Good laptop? - #19 by Dave_ZPCMR

Extremely little effort put into this but for example if you absolutely had to have all new parts in a smallish system to move around:

Add a bit on for some case fans, peripherals and an ANT+ dongle (or Bluetooth card), but you’d end up with a compact PC which will run Zwift maxed out in Ultra profile at 60fps in 4K virtually all the time. Fully servicable and upgradable if needed. Can save loads of money over this by compromising on a bigger case size, lowering the performance targets and picking up used parts, it’s just a quick idea. If none of the graphics/experience side matters to you, by all means buy an Apple TV. It’s the other end of the scale.

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Well, don’t expect a laptop GPU to have the same performance as it’s desktop counterpart. Laptop GPUs are scaled down for form factor, power consumption and reduced cooling requirements and that it is going to mean less processing and less detail in all areas. Knowing nothing and not wanting to know anything that is an easy conclusion… for me at least.

My laptop is a factory refurbished i7-11800 octa-core with nvidia (seems to be preferred to ATI) 3050Ti 4GB card that came with 16GB and I upgraded to 64Gb of memory… Among the laptop-y tasks it performs is ride video editing. It seems to do both well, but I hear with no other explanation other than it is a laptop it is junk.

Neg-ing them all is counter productive. People have them and many will prefer them. In that regard the desktop has gone the way of the dinosaur for many people. Productive is knowing what works well and what doesn’t. Maybe there are better cards, configurations and value laptops than mine…

Apple TV is a budget solution for people wanting a dedicated box. It works and I won’t say “don’t”, but graphics are set at most basic level. Even my laptop GPU is a big step up and has other uses. Now I keep my ATV as back up. Maybe I’ll start using it as a video player… :person_shrugging:

Not sure who said that, because it certainly wasn’t me.

It is certainly implied… Show me a laptop for Zwift that doesn’t get a negative.

I don’t recommend people buy laptops for Zwift for the exact same reasons as you pointed out yourself above - see my post from two weeks ago where I said virtually all the same stuff. This doesn’t mean yours is ‘junk’, and I never even implied as such. It’s perfectly fine.

That is high praise indeed and perhaps a first. How about a few more that are “perfectly fine”…