Trying something new

I’m using a old laptop at the moment. Thinking about going to using Apple TV for Zwift. Who is using it and what are your opinions? Thanks

I personally would get a better laptop or a desktop pc

2 Likes

I would agree with @Stuart.Middlecoate, Apple TV is one of the cheapest options for using Zwift, but comes with its own limitations. A terrible remote control, limited BLE connections, no ANT+ without some sort of bridge device, no access to log files, low graphics, etc…

You can build a PC just for Zwift for around $300 if you are techie enough (it really isn’t hard) with Windows 10, a nice video card that will give you ultra graphics, an SSD for quick load times, and plenty of processing power for Zwift.

1 Like

Apple TV is a great Zwift platform, especially considering the price. Stable, and the remote control isn’t as bad as you might think. It’s a non-starter if you need ANT+ though.

1 Like

I’d be very wary of the laptop route, especially one with integrated Intel graphics since that’s likely to be a crash-fest until Zwift sort out the long-standing issue there.

1 Like

and from what I have heard, or rather @Dave_ZPCMR has posted, gaming laptops are very expensive and not worth the cost if it is just going to be used for Zwift.

2 Likes

It’s a bit random with laptops. I’ve had zwift running on some fairly low end spec laptops without a single issue.

Yet my hi spec Sony won’t run it at all.

It’ll be down to the GPU for sure which for a desktop you ultimately have control over.

I have been using ATV to Zwift for about two years now, but when I started I was using my laptop. My primary reasons for opting for the ATV were simplicity and size. That is, I tired of having to attach my laptop to the TV each time I wanted to Zwift (or even just taking it to where the trainer is, regardless of hooking up to the TV), and my space near the TV is limited. I do miss some of the detail I can get from using a decent PC but, for me, the ease of use more than offsets that. If I had more space in the area where I Zwift I might opt to get a PC, but for now I am just fine with the ATV.

1 Like

Very expensive, don’t perform amazingly well (versus a much cheaper PC), often have issues with thermal throttling and cannot be upgraded in any meaningful way. If it’s not going to be used for any other games, a gaming laptop is just about the worst value for money when it comes to Zwift and should be avoided unless portability is absolutely necessary. And by that I mean genuine portability such as frequent travelling, not just taking it somewhere to plug into a TV.

3 Likes

Buy a Dell optiplex with a 3.1 GHz processor from Amazon or eBay, about £100 second hand, ex office pcs but good value.

1 Like

I setup Zwift rigs for many people and every one I have used a 2nd hand ex office PC. Tend to target i5 processors. 8gb RAM and will gobble up 2nd hand 1 or 2gb graphics cards with HDMI outputs.
Now fitting SSD as standard as the speed increase over a normal HDD is night and day.

Probably looking around 125 quid all in.

Haswell (4th gen) i3 is the sweet spot when it comes to Zwift performance for the money, can easily pick up an i3-4130 for £10-15. Got to spend loads more money to get substantially better results, and that’s only in group events. Even the integrated graphics on Haswell are reasonable, offering a very similar experience to Apple TV 4K.

I purchased a gaming laptop because they are cheaper than mobile workstations…Zwifting is secondary or tertiary. I also keep laptops as long as possible…I still have one from 2005 that …works…slow but it works.

I understand your point if Zwifting is primary…However…the cost of even a middling graphics card is insane. A laptop with a 1660ti can be had for ~$1K…has HDMI out if I want to big screen it. It is just too costly to build rigs with the miners re-calibrating the market and a lack of semiconductor fab capacity. Even the largest car companies in the world are slowing production due to chip shortages.

12 months ago a pre-built system was on the expensive side…(in the US…purchase from Costco…4 year warranty and no questions asked return policy)…nowadays it is a better value. The alternative is increased risk with a used system. Nothing wrong with that route as long as the risks are understood.

For me: $1K trainer, 2007 $3K bike, and $1K laptop…Zwifting is 10% of laptop usage…

As always, YMMV…

It’s a little unfair to point at the current price gouging as a reason why gaming laptops are reasonable value. Six months ago it was fairly easy to put together PCs capable of running Zwift in 4K at 60 fps for under $400, the hardware requirements are way lower than most people believe - you certainly don’t need a 1660 Ti for example. It’s still possible with the right used deals (I’ve recently done one for less than $350) but it’s obviously much harder at present.

With $1K that would leave money to buy a nice ‘normal’ laptop as well. But you’re right that the situation is ludicrous, hopefully it’ll calm down at some point soon.

What is unfair? Do you see the market going back to the way it used to be?? I certainly do not…not anytime soon. Not unless governments outlaw cryptocurrency…which does not appear to be happening. Different discussion though. Or several 12", 7nm fabs come on line next week. So… not happening.

6 or 12 months ago, I agree with you. Reality is people are asking now and my point is that prebuilt, laptop or desktop, is a better value than building your own. A good new, prebuilt desktop and decent gpu can be had for $500-$600. That is the cost of a middling graphics card…if you can find it. Or you accept the risk of a used system. A new system should be able to run for 6-10 years…a used system will be useful for 3-4 years (obviously depending on progress of complexity…if Zwift is any indication it will last longer).

The market must be even worse in the US then, because even with the silly prices at present a 4K capable (for Zwift) GPU doesn’t cost that much here in the UK. If 4K isn’t required you can drop right down to a GTX 1050 Ti and those are very common. Even a GT 1030 gives a pretty good experience, those are readily available and you can upgrade later. Stock of better cards is slowly starting to reappear. I don’t share your cynicism about used parts either. Can only agree to disagree, I just wouldn’t ever recommend buying a gaming laptop for Zwift, even right now.

I do not know where to buy cheap but this is Newegg: 1050ti | Newegg.com Ever hear of Yeston???

a bit better on ebay: 1050ti | eBay

For a 1050ti I think this is ludicrous…but that is me…

Those are fakes, normally older cards with a flashed vBIOS. Real cards are in and out of stock with retailers at around £150 (around $170) in the UK, just have to be quick to get one. Don’t get me wrong that’s still very expensive for a 1050 Ti (when compared to the £176 I paid for my 1660, for example) but it’ll run Zwift in Ultra detail and 1440p at 60fps in solo rides, which is plenty good enough for most people. Only 4K resolution is a step up, it doesn’t change in terms of detail. GT 1030s are readily available here for £60-80 (~$80) which is good for 1080p and Medium detail at 60fps, still light years ahead of boggo laptops, phones, tablets and Apple TV 4K.

…but yeah, those Newegg prices are ludicrous, way worse than here. :confused:

1 Like

I checked Craigslist locally…1070’s are going for $450 used…yikes. Glad I am not building.

I have a 4K OLED tv…when temps hit 95F + I am going to hook my laptop up and do me some 4K Zwifting.