Thinking about upgrading. I get some annoying hesitation when running Zwift. The laptop I have is about 2 years old.

What would be a top level (staying with a laptop) with enough computing power to smooth out my experience. I confess that I know very little about hardware and components.

Firstly, this article is probably a great starting point. The tech it references is applicable to desktop and laptop pc’s. However, you are going to pay a premium with those features in laptop form and you would [likely] be better using the extra $'s in building a dedicated Zwift pc.

What “hesitation” do you get from your current laptop - and do you know what its specs are?

By hesitation I mean that the screen freezes for a second or two. Processor Intel core i7-5500u CPU 2.40 GHz. Ram 12 GB. 64 bit OS. x64-based processor. Windows 8.1

How often does the screen freeze?

Generally, these screen freezes, also known as a form of stuttering, are caused by insufficient speed of data transfer along the pipeline between hard disk, processor / ram and graphics. It can be a slow hard disk (if your laptop has a mechanical HDD, this could easily be the reason - SSD upgrade would be a way to go), a graphics card which barely meets the requirements (especially VRAM, which is oftentimes a problem in laptops), outdated graphics card drivers, or other software that runs on your laptop in the background. For example, antivirus or web camera could take resources from the computer and overload it for a very short period of time on a periodic basis. When this short overload happens, Zwift would freeze for a moment. You could start by killing (or pausing) all nonessential programs that run in the background which are not system programs and which you do not need to run Zwift. This could potentially help. At the very least, you will find out if any of them was a culprit.

To answer your question, powerful laptops are usually sold under the name “gaming laptops”. This is probably because any hardware can run a web browser or Office these days, and very few people run demanding video or graphics processing software - so gamers end up being primary customers for high end hardware. If you need a high end laptop which can run graphics and animation really well, gaming laptop is the way to go. Or a high end office laptop priced in the $1500 range. Or you can get an AppleTV - it runs Zwift reasonably well from what I hear, it is quite inexpensive compared to laptop, and all that it requires is a TV.

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Just the reply I was looking for; straight forward and in non-techy English!

Thank you -

I purchased a new laptop a couple of months ago, Lenovo Legion 5i, and it has an Nvidia 1660ti. Zwift looks stellar.

ATV works but is limited to 1080 i believe.

when temps hit 105 this summer I am going to run an HDMI to my 4K TV and check it out…

From analysis of configuration files in Zwift folders, I arrived to a conclusion that Zwift cannot generate graphics with resolution higher than 1080p. Of course a 4k TV would scale a 1080p input to 4k, but do not expect a higher resolution than you get on your laptop screen :slight_smile: But a TV is nice to have in front of the trainer! Why wait until summer ??

Zwift runs in up to 4K on devices that can do so; those with a dedicated graphics card.

Dave, I never heard about Zwift running in true 4k. Are you sure about this? Do you have a reference which confirms this?

Below is a link to an article on Zwift insider which describes how Zwift graphics configuration files work and where they are located.

The highest graphics mode is “ultra”. The resolution specified inside of it is 1920x1080, which is 1080p. There is no config file for “4k”. “Ultra” is the best true resolution and the best level of details that one can get.

This is not to say that 4k TV would not show the picture full screen if you connect Zwift to it, or that your graphics card cannot scale it up to 4k output, but the level of details will not exceed that of the “ultra” setting, which is 1080p. Each primitive element which the image on the screen is built from will take more pixels and will look fuzzier when spread across those pixels.

This is very typical for computer games. They are rarely drawn at full resolution of modern TVs. In order to increase resolution of Zwift to true 4k with a decent frame rate, one would likely need a desktop with one of the fastest CPUs and RTX 2080 or RTX 3080, and software would likely have to be re-written to use Vulkan instead of OpenGL.

So my 1650 super is not pushing true 4k from zwift to my 4k tv?

Its really hard keepig up with edits Andrei - can you tag where your 5 changes are so that I dont have to re-read the whole email (edit: post). I’m still trying to digest why I paid for 1650 super!

That value in the config file refers to texture resolution. As it says further down the page you’ve linked to. If it referred to game resolution then it wouldn’t make sense that you can select 1080p resolution on Basic profile. You’re mixing up resolution and profile, they’re two separate things.

The game outputs at 4K when you use the UHD game resolution setting. I’m not sure what proof you require.

Take a screenshot and see what resolution the resulting image (with stats) is.

Spoiler: it’s not 1920x1080

haha - I was just playing. The fine folks at ZPCMR got me on the right track some time back Dave :wink:

EDIT: apologies Andrei - I run i5 and 1650 super @ 60FPS/4k to a 4k tv (except large group rides, which gets me 45-50FPS).

Check out AMD’s latest Cezanne laptop chip lineup. There should be reviews on Youtube at some point in the next few months for the various laptops that will use them from several reputable tech reviewers. The 45 Watt ones will be in the high end laptops coming out. AMD Launches Ryzen 5000 Mobile: Zen 3 and Cezanne for Notebooks

Zwift don’t have a good track record when it comes to APUs that you’d think would be very capable. The 4600H only gets Basic profile at a maximum of 1080p resolution (so looks no better than a boggo Intel iGPU), then you’ve got the AMD OpenGL drivers thing to deal with.

Dave, this is what I meant. Texture resolution. This is the parameter which defines level of details in the image, right? And then the computer can upscale these textures to any resolution one wants. 4k, 8k, whatever. My point was, computer can output 4k video, but level of details and sharpness of details will not exceed that of texture resolution.

Sounds to me like you’re changing your argument. Some of the stuff you said above is not correct. The game outputs in 4K where hardware allows, the texture quality parameters are separate to that.

Dave, it is not that important, but I was talking about the resolution at which Zwift renders the images. Resolution at which it outputs it to the screen, to fill the screen, is a different story. Think about this way: imagine you find on the Internet an old video shot in old, grainy SD format, 640x480. When you click on it, it will open in a small window on your large screen. You can maximize it to the full size of your screen, your screenshot will show that it fills every pixel on the screen, but it will remain the same grainy ugly image, in which every pixel will be blown up in size. This is what I mean as resolution in which graphics is rendered and in which it is displayed. I do not think that Zwift is capable of rendering in 4k.