New MacBook - For Zwift

Looking for new MacBook, which apart from web browsing and some 3d work in TinkerCAD will be primary my new Zwift machine to replace my iPad Pro (well I’ll be using the iPad still but in sidecar mode - to gain the better graphics and 60fps)

Can’t decide if the MacBook Air M2 13" 8GB will be enough? or I should go with the 14" MacBook Pro M3 Pro 11/14c

Anyone else looked / purchased?

Air doesn’t have fans, so I would suggest avoiding that if you want to maximise any performance improvements that Zwift might bring to Mac in the future.

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A dedicated group of Zwifters have a mantra of getting a dinosaur old PC which can be had for very little money to dedicate to Zwift. It will perform much better than anything on an Apple system. Then get whatever you choose that optimizes your use of TinkerCAD, or whatever. Of course, this philosophy means a computing device for each use so they can stack up.

Personally I purchase as much PC as I can get by the Financial Officer (my wife) and use for everything. Following that mantra, the Pro M3 would be the choice for you. But it might suffer a bit in Zwift until the profiles are updated by Zwift.

worth pointing out that you can look at the zwiftalizer for benchmarks of existing systems if that helps:

not saying this is for everyone, but if you’re interested in minimum money for best experience, read on!

lots of interesting stuff in there like core i3 12th gen with a 1650 averages 70fps in watopia @1440. or a core i5 8th gen with a 6600 averages 108 fps in watopia at 4k.

a 1650 brand new costs $160 on amazon. a 6600 brand new costs $200 on amazon.

PC Part picker says you can get a ryzen 5 system (which all by itself might run zwift well) for $385 total, then add one of the cards above – that’s pretty cheap for a top notch zwift experience.

I thought of that - but the seamless use of sidecar (and the use of the native resolution of the ipad) means I can use the ipad on the bike still, from looking I can’t do that with a PC (I tried with using Duet but was very slow)

Tried my wife’s new M2 Air 15" last night - hmmmm 20fps in Tokyo… that’s not going to cut it.

Sounds like you were running it on battery power, and it was throttling. It’ll run better off mains power.

MacBook Air is Ok.

Both will be more than enough for Zwift.

I was previously using Apple TV, which is fine now having heritage my wife’s old 2017 iMac. Ideal for zwifting. just get an old computer

I have same machine - no issues there. I leave it connected to power.

My normal Zwift machine is a second hand Mac Pro from 2010 which got a CPU upgrade to Xeon X5690, SSD storage, 32gb RAM and Radeon RX6600XT GPU then opencore so I can run up to MacOS 12.7. That one isn’t portable (at all) but was quite cheap and runs reliably. However it cannot run MacOS Ventura or newer. Eventually it will need replacing - unless the opencore wizards work out a way to run Ventura or newer.

12c M3 Pro purchased.

Custom Ultra settings (edited the High file to give me everything) at 80-90fps with 100+ riders.

Happy days


May I ask what kind of battery usage you get on battery with Zwift at ultra on the mbp? Have you disabled the battery saver in Zwift?

Haven’t tested it to depletion. But get hours. Battery saver is off.

So 4 hours with the battery saver in Zwift is no problem? Happy with it for Zwift?

Very. Happy. Super high frame rates, stable etc. Once they fix the 4:3 aspect issue with sidecar it will be a perfect system.

4:3 aspect is an issue when using full screen, right?