I’m quite new to Zwift, and have been using a Microsoft Surface laptop through a (non smart) TV. Since I set it up I’ve been having huge issues with crashing mid-way through a ride.
I’ve googled this and it seems to be an issue with the driver on my laptop with no real fix unless you want to downgrade the driver. I use my laptop for work so I don’t want to do this - I’m also not that techy so the idea of this is a little scary.
So what now? I have a phone (which was horrible to use this evening) and an old iPad - or connect the iPad to the TV via an old fashioned cable (with the non-wide screen view), or do I bite the bullet and buy an Apple TV device? We use Sky to watch TV so don’t need it for the actual TV bit, so seems a little wasteful spending £200 on a box just for Zwift. Or is there a better way to do it?
Any help would be appreciated.
The easiest and lowest cost is the ATV but that has issues (remote, mediocre graphics, etc). I think the generation prior to the 4K is compatible (I THINK) and you might find a used one for even less.
The best quality experience is a PC desktop with a reasonable graphic card but that increases the budget significantly. Guides are on Facebook: ZPCMR - Zwift PC Masters & Riders. Join the group.
PC laptops work well but cost more than desktops for comparable performance. I really have no idea about Apple minis and laptops.
Personally I use a laptop with i7-10750H & 1660Ti (Lenovo Legion 5) and output to a nice 1900x1200 monitor (older resolution but still a great image) and it works pretty well.
What model of iPad? If you need help identifying it, refer to this page: Identify your iPad model - Apple Support
Download Zwift to the iPad and try it. If it’s working, check this out: Tacx Bracket for Tablets | Handlebar Attachment | Garmin
I added a phone tray to mine so I can have a tablet and the Companion app together: Phone tray add-on for Tacx Tablet Bracket
No need for a TV if you’ve got Zwift running on the tablet - “little screen close” versus “big screen far”.
I can’t do much to help other than suggest you run “dxdiag” under the search bar on your laptop and post your computers specifications. That way someone may be able to give you more details on how to make Zwift run more smoothly. It’s also important to look under your computer hardware to determine what graphics card you have since Zwift no longer supports some Intel Graphics cards. You may also want to try changing the settings in zwift to 720p if it’s set to 1080p and also run Zwift in windowed mode.
Does Zwift crash or does your entire computer shut down? If so, the game may be putting too much strain on your laptop, causing it to overheat and shutdown. The only solution is setting it to the lowest resolution. You can’t replace graphics cards in laptops so if your current graphics card can’t handle Zwift then you’d have to explore other optoins.
My solution was to reuse a second hand 2010 Apple Mac Pro I got for parts (the big cheesegrater tower).
I just put an X5690 processor in it (also second hand), 32gb ECC RAM and I got a new Radeon RX580 graphics card off Amazon along the right power cable for it. I also put a SSD in it (replacing the old spinning HDD) then installed open core along with Mac OS Monterey. It also got an newer Bluetooth/WIFI card from an iMac to replace the OEM one.
It runs great - it is quick and reliable. I have it connected to a 55” TV via HDMI cable.
Downgrading drivers on windows is tricky. Watch out that the computer isn’t overheating, though from the sound of it that’s not the cause.
Apple TV is a very simple solution and very easy to use, but this doesn’t look as nice as a dedicated computer.
If you’re just looking for a reliable method of getting Zwift going on your TV really cheaply then there are loads of options. If you’re not confident about putting something together yourself, feel free to PM me. An ‘Apple TV experience’ build costs about £70 with none of the limitations, I’ll happily knock you something up.
Thank you - I tried to reduce the resolution and it went all weird. From what I’ve Googled it is an Intel problem which won’t be fixed any time soon. It’s just Zwift that crashes - although it does get a bit hot. I think I definitely need an alternative solution. Appreciate your advice though.
Thank you- I think I need a simple solution - so Apple TV it will have to be.
@Dave_ZPCMR @chris_benten1 @Chris_Denton_LACC @Flanders Thank you for replying - it looks like Apple TV will be the solution - the other suggestions are great, but for a non techy like me, I need simple!
You already use Windows, so wouldn’t be any more techy than you have now.
100% valid choice Laura.
I am a techy, and I have an AppleTV, along with an iPad, and have run Zwift on PCs.
What you give up in raw graphic power on ATV, in my opinion, is offset by just opening the app and riding. No drivers to update, no troubleshooting. Complaints about the ATV remote are offset by using the Companion app, or the ATV “remote” app if you own an iPhone or iPad.
The portability can’t be beat either - plug that little hocky-puck into any screen with an HDMI port and you’re off to the races.
EDIT - OP also said “I’m also not that techy”. Half the posts on the forum are troubleshooting issues with PC’s running Zwift, and DCRainmaker uses an ATV4k most of the time when running the app “because it just works.”
Read the room, Dave, and stop dumping all over people’s choices. It’s not a good look.
I haven’t manually updated any drivers in years. We weren’t even talking about graphics anyway, the OP literally said they didn’t want to spend much money on a system just for Zwift so I suggested a much cheaper alternative for the same experience - that I offered to build and supply. Exactly the same setup, plug in and go.