Native Apple silicon Support for M1 and M2 Macs Enabled [1.47] [September 2023]

My MacBook Pro M1pro is connected to a 55" 4k TV for Zwift. It runs just fine and smoothly at Ultra/4K RESOLUTION but only the High graphic PROFILE as shown in Zwfitalizer graphic above. Zwift has not “flipped the switch” for any of the Apple Silicon macs to run with the Ultra PROFILE. I’d dearly love to know why not or understand what issues they are encountering in testing.

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I just did a support request to Zwift. I will answer back when I hear more - or if I just go ahead and pick it up anyhow and run some log tests on Zwiftalyzer. Thanks for your assistance Rick!

For those interested in a peek under Zwiftalizer’s hood, there is a long but very interesting video on all things Zwiftalizer by Michael Hanney, the site developer.

Of particular interest to me and the discussions here, are a couple segments in the video at 17:04 and at 21:02 min comparing an M1 Macbook running the under the High Profile to a PC running under the Ultra Profile. There’s very little difference to my eye… There are also similar comparisons to an Apple TV and PC.

Check out ZwiftInsider’s article at zwiftinsider dot com/zwiftalizer-tutorial-and-analysis/ or on you tube at dot com/watch?v=BJqPgU55fpQ if you haven’t seen it.

true - it’s hard to tell the difference between High and Ultra profile at 1440 resolution, especially when both were downscaled to 1080 for youtube, and compressed. The difference might be noticeable on a large TV at 4K.

True enough; however, it was mentioned in the video; particularly, in the Makuri comparisons, that it seemed difficult to see much, if any, difference and I presumed those comments were made while viewing the High & Ultra profiles at least at 1440 resolution on a decent size monitor prior to downscaling and compression. Granted, a much larger 4K TV might make a difference. I use a 55" 4K TV connected to my MacBook Pro M1pro, but I’m also a lot further from it when zwifting…

I guess my takeaway from the video is that the difference between High and Ultra likely is not dramatic.

@shooj, with the “This Season on Zwift” update drop recently (and first off - really appreciate the renewed support for Apple Watch!), would it be possible to get a sort of expectation-setting update for new graphics profiles on macOS and iPadOS? Is it on the roadmap, or maybe a wishlist item for summer/next winter?

You are absolutely right - I made those clips of the M1/High and GTX970/Ultra on a Dell Ultra Sharp 27" monitor at 1440 resolution. The difference between High and Ultra profiles is not significant. Smoothness is more impactful, and if I had to guess, I would say Zwift chose to trade-off a step down in the profile in order to maintain 60 or 120 FPS in all circumstances - including with video screenshots enabled and large groups - and align with Apple’s performance guidelines for consistency.

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But it is on a 55" (or even bigger) TV.

I moved up from an M1 Pro that ran too hot for my liking if I went above 1440… Got an M3 Pro and it still ran hot with the system just not engaging the fans as one would expect… Exchanged for a M3 Max, binned version, and gave it a go December 2nd. The mandatory High profile and the graphics set to 2160 resulted in superb performance and graphics. Temperatures were good with the fans on most of the time but never getting spooled up too high. More recently, it seems Zwift has quietly changed the Mac profile and capped the frame rate at 60 FPS. Fans are normally off now and there appears to be room for High to be moved to Ultra. I hope that is in the future unless there really is no meaningful gain to be had. Zwiftalyzer screen captures from December 02 and 20.
M3 Max 021223

M3 Max 201223

Interesting, my 2021 14" M1 MacBook Pro with the M1 Pro CPU doesn’t have any temperature problems running in 4K. Is that the one you had, or the older style?

It was a 14" M1 Pro 10X16X16. A very good machine overall but when I upgraded more cores and better cooling really improved operations in Zwift. Thermals with a 16" would have been better. Activity monitor always showed the GPU cores at 100%. TG Pro showed temperatures often hitting 102-103 C. With the 30 GPU cores I now have they never got maxed out… Since Zwift appears to have now capped the frame rate at 60 the M1 Pro ought to run cooler than previously. Do your frame rates appear to be capped?

Well I use a 60Hz display so frame rates are always capped. CPU around 65C with fans on.

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Thanks for your reply @John_French1

I have been riding with my new MacBook Pro 16" M3 Max 14‑core right next to an i5 PC with a 1660 super I put together from the help of Dave Higgins with the ZPCMR Group on Facebook. They are both running 42" 60hz 4k monitors.

I couldn’t tell the difference! Of course I didn’t get the Macbook to run Zwift, but wow - $350 PC compared to $3500 Mac, it was the same frame rate and indistinguishable. However, if I run it without an external monitor it does 160fps.

I’m just happy I don’t have to maintain another PC and can just use my laptop now! ha!

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Hi Molly,

Nice to hear! Did the i5 PC w/1660 super show to be running under the High or Ultra Graphic Profile in Zwiftalizer?

1660 Super will always be Ultra profile. Even a 1050 Ti gets Ultra profile and frame rates will mostly depend on the CPU.

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Yes, the i5 and 1660 super are in ultra. The MacBook was in “high” - but we rode the same course on these separate computers on (2) 42" 4k monitors and I couldn’t tell the difference between their graphics. And I was really looking! Light, water vapors, foliage, cloud rendering - identical.

I’m told that the Ultra and High are exclusive of resolution. What exactly is the difference? Can someone explain this to me?

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Hi, does zwift support videos screenshots for Apple M3 Pro processors? I have mew one M3 Pro 16"… and don’t see video screenshots option in Zwift settings…

Is this still a problem?

Are you referring to video screenshots on M3? It was just enabled…

Awesome news. Thanks! Really excited to see how the M3 performs with Zwift! Hopeful it won’t get warm and have good battery performance as well.