Worried about hurting new M1 MacBook Air

Hi, I’m new to using Zwift. I had an early 2015 Intel MacBook Air that kept overheating and crashing when I used Zwift - especially during races/group rides. It did hurt that laptop and caused it to malfunction. I have a new M1 MacBook Air now but I’m worried it will do the same thing and hurt this laptop when I use it to do races/group rides. Can I safely run Zwift on this new Mac? I really need my laptop for work and school and obviously cannot have it breakdown like the last one. Also I have a Thunderbolt Display I was using with my old laptop - I would like to continue using that with the new one.

Edit: I just learned that there are current problems with Zwift crashing immediately after a race. I was also having problems with just group rides but anyway, it makes me feel better that that seems to be a bug they’re working on. However, I’m still certain it hurt my old laptop because I couldn’t process videos on the website/app for my work and my laptop just started having issues elsewhere.

Hey Sam,
I"ve been using M1 this winter and it’s been great with the straight BT connection to my trainer. I love the battery run time without the need for a power cord unlike my PC. The computer hardly gets warm.
I’ve had no issues at all. I do prefer using the M1 over my Dell-Win10.
I experienced my first bug with 3R race yesterday which is related to the Zwift platform, not my computer. It seems that the last Z update is causing a lot of problems. We are all hoping for another update soon.

Zwift stresses hardware components in some very weird ways. In my experience it’s more effective at finding potential instability on a system than industry tools which are literally designed for this purpose.

The overwhelming majority of systems that haven’t been tweaked/messed with cope with it just fine, but unfortunately some do not. The M1 chip is an exceptional piece of engineering, but it can’t magically make software more efficient or stable. From a graphics standpoint Zwift is no better on M1 than it is on any other platform (in fact in some aspects it’s worse), and it suffers from Zwift’s quirks in exactly the same way.

All that said, I am very sure it’ll be fine and you needn’t worry. Hope this helps.

Working pretty well for me, no issues so far. Not the best for live streaming though :joy:. I mainly use an iPad for Zwift though(very reliable and no issues with crashing, rarely ever effected by the bugs in Zwift).

Zwift on Mac seems to do something akin to forced overclocking when running it with the charger plugged in, which can cause excessive stress to components (especially considering the M1 Air’s fanless design). I personally wouldn’t risk it, but running it off the battery, you should be safe.

Hi i had same issues and purchased a cool board which has fans underneath and directs the heat away from the laptop, my not be the answer you are after but it has saved my laptop from overheating and burning out the hardrive

Hi @SAMANTHA_AIKEN

Welcome to the Forums!

I would find it very surprising to discover that Zwift was specifically responsible for any overheating or general instability with your older MacBook Air. In all likelihood, this problem is related to your computer itself, not Zwift.

Like most modern video games, Zwift puts a bigger strain on your computer than most other programs, which can cause other issues to surface. For example, if you were to run other games on that older MacBook Air which would tax your computer resources to the same extent as Zwift, I’d wager that you’d most likely discover that the overheating issue still occurs.

Most commonly, we’ve seen that a computer overheats as a result of poor ventilation and shutting down to protect itself from permanent damage.

That said, Mac M1 computers have rapidly grown in popularity with members of the Zwift community and I’ve as yet not heard of issues where those computers overheat when running Zwift. The occassional app crash can sometimes happen on PC or Mac, but our developers work to address those issues as they arise. However, from everything I’ve seen a Mac M1 computer overheating shouldn’t be a concern for you.

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My old ~2017 Macbook Pro hit decent sauna numbers (CPU temp 80C or more) already by the time I got through the pairing screen to the main menu so no, not normal. Even video encoding kept it only around 70C. There are other threads here that explain the details better. If there is ever a class action for owners of Macbooks fried by Zwift…

Get a desktop fan and direct it at the laptop while running zwift, or for a more sophisticated and pricey alternative get one of those laptop cooling pads.

…or an Apple TV (or a used office PC and a graphics card if you prefer tinkering).

Same experience here, Anna.
I tried running Zwift on a specced out 13-in 2017 MBP exactly twice, about two years ago. Both times, after loading the game, the fans span up to what I guess is their limit right from the get-go and the device shut itself down within ten minutes, having got worryingly hot to the touch. I hadn’t even tried pairing sensors; was just watching someone else’s avatar in Watopia!
In almost five years of heavy use, I haven’t seen such behaviour in that device, before or since.

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