New Macbook Pro

(Simon Carson) #1

Is anyone using the brand new macbook pro with the touch bar?

I need a new laptop and I wanted to know what the Zwift graphics performance is like before I buy one.

(Eric Oshlo) #2

Yes, I’m running the new 15" Macbook pro touchbar with upgraded AMD Radeon Pro 460 graphics card. I have it connected to a 52" Sony TV via HDMI and to a HRM, Quarq power meter & Tacx trainer via ANT+.

Zwift is setting its High Graphics mode and is running very well with an average frame rate of 52 fps according to the website. Zwifalizer rates it a 7/10. Their summary is as follows:

The score is based on your graphics profile and resolution. Frame rate is not factored into in the score because it is very subjective. Some people do not mind 15 FPS. Others prefer a minimum of 60 FPS.

Graphics profile
Your graphics profile (realism) is High, which is one level below the highest level. The levels are Basic, Medium, High and Ultra. Integrated GPUs use the Basic profile. The Medium and High profiles use higher quality effects for increased realism. The Ultra profile adds further realism by using nicer lighting, nicer shadows and additional polygons to give things more detail. Graphics profile is automatically set by the game engine according to the capabilities of your graphics processing unit. You can not set it yourself. A low end discrete GPU, such as the Nvidia GeForce GT 650 or AMD Radeon R7 360 Series, is necessary to get the Medium profile. A mid level discrete GPU, such as the Nvidia GeForce GTX 750 Ti or AMD Radeon R9 200, is necessary to get the High profile. A high end discrete GPU, such as the Nvidia GeForce GTX 960 or AMD Radeon RX 480, is necessary to get the Ultra profile.

Graphics resolution
Your resolution (picture frame size measured in the number of pixels in the vertical axis) is 1080 full high definition (FHD), which is the same as full HD television. This is the middle setting. The levels are 576 standard definition (SD), 750 iOS, 720 high definition (HD), 1080 full high definition (FHD), 1440 wide quad high definition (WQHD - 4 times as many pixels as 720 HD), 2160 ultra high definition (4K - 4 times as many pixels as 1080 FHD). Unlike graphics profile, you can change the graphics resolution to whatever you want. However, a high end discrete GPU, such as the Nvidia GeForce GTX 960 or AMD Radeon RX 480, is necessary to get the 1440 and 2160 (4K) resolution options.

Frame rate
Your average frame rate is very good, your minimum frame rate is average, and your maximum frame rate is excellent.

Here’s a screenshot of their Graphics analysis.

(Jamie Pickr'ing) #3

Ah that’s slightly disappointing. I’ve just ordered the same and was hoping it might get to Ultra on 1080p…

(Eric Oshlo) #4

You could give it a try and see. It’s pretty easy to force Zwift to use a specific graphics mode on a Mac.

To do so, first determine what mode Zwift is self-selecting by uploading a recent log file from an activity using the subject laptop to In the case of my Macbook, it’s High as you can see in my previous post.

Then swap around some of Zwift’s config files located in ~/Library/Application Support/Zwift/data/configs/ In that folder, you’ll see txt files for the various graphics modes. Rename the file currently being used from above (High in this case) to something else such as High Orig or whatever. Then make a copy of Ultra.txt and rename the copy High.txt.

Run Zwift and see if the laptop can handle it.

I haven’t done so on this laptop, but did so on my older 2012 Macbook Pro to force the use High rather than Medium graphics. Although the frame rate dropped quite a bit it worked well without being noticeably jerky. I also tried it once on a 2016 13" Macbook Pro touchbar w/o discrete graphics card and it was too jerky to be useable.

(Tony Abramavicius) #5

I have a question about the 2017 MacBook Pro and Zwift:  I purchased the Apple USB-C adapter for this laptop and tried to connect with my ANT+ dongle - will not work.  Zwift doesn’t pick up my Wahoo Kick and Garmin heart rate monitor. All worked on a 7 year old iMac desktop with regular USB port (USB-A) at the back of the computer. This original setup gave me choppy video. I want to use my new MacBook Pro for smoother video with those little USB-C ports with Zwift. Any suggestions?  

(Eric Oshlo) #6

Not really, but it sounds like a bad dongle or adapter rather than an inherent system issue because I am not having any problem whatsoever using my old Suunto ANT+ USB dongle with my new USB-C macbook pro.

I use a MonoPrice 3’ USB-A female to USB-C male cable as the adapter, but have also used my dongle successfully with a Nonda USB-C/USB 3.0 adapter from Amazon. I would think the Apple adapter would fine also but I haven’t tried it.