Zwift at ultra settings monitor resolution conundrum

Hi all,

I am currently running zwift from my laptop on high settings to a crudy 1080p TV I was given. I intend to upgrade to a dedicated PC to soley run zwift at ultra settings, ideally at 4k. I am based in the UK and am looking at either of these two monitor choices from Amazon.

Acer Nitro VG240YSbmiipx 24 Inch Full HD Gaming Monitor (IPS Panel, FreeSync, 165 Hz (OC), 2 ms, HDR 10, DP, HDMI,

Samsung U28E590D 28-Inch LCD/LED Monitor 4k, 1 ms response time, no HDR, freesync enabled. TN panel, non gaming monitor

My question is, would I be better buying the 1080p monitor which has a higher Hz rating and if so will it run at 1440p at 144Hz if connected to a good graphics card or should I buy the Samsung 4k monitor for the increased resolution but only 60Hz? Both have freesync, but I guess neither of the GPUs I mentioned supports this?

I am aiming on building a pc based on some of the forum recommendations on a i3-i5 processor and either a 1650 super or 1080 ti GPU, 8gb ram with Windows and zwift on a 120gb Ssd, depending on what I can get at the right price given the current GPU shortage.
I know both graphics cards are capable of 4k, it’s just what monitor would be best suited for the best picture quality and would I notice the difference between 1440p and true 4k?

If the 1080p monitor can be used at higher than the native resolution, (1440p at 144hz) would this be the better choice?
Ps, the bigger monitor isnt important to me, 24" is plenty as it will be wall mounted no further away than my wheel, although it would be nice to go big.

Any advice would be most appreciated
Thank you in advance.

Andy

@Dave_ZPCMR to the white courtesy phone, please …

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Are you on Facebook? Search it for ZPCMR.

TL;DR: neither.

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Hi Dave, thank you for the advice. No I’m not on Facebook, I’ve tried to avoid it like the plague.
Is there anywhere else you could point me? I’ve done multiple searches online and read multiple forum posts, but I can’t get a definitive answer anywhere.
Many thanks.

So in order:

  • You can select any game resolution you like, frame rate is almost completely independent from display resolution. Going one setting above the display resolution looks better because the game uses supersampling.
  • You absolutely can use Freesync (or more accurately, the VESA DisplayPort adaptive sync standard), Nvidia starting supporting it a few years ago on 10xx series cards and newer.
  • You’re better off with a high refresh rate monitor, since adaptive sync is great for Zwift’s wild frame rate swings. However this assumes the monitor has Freesync, DisplayPort and ideally LFC.
  • There’s a huge gulf between the price and power of a 1650 Super and 1080 Ti, the latter is £500-600 and complete overkill for Zwift. In the current climate you’re better going used; a 1060 3GB is fine with an overclock, even for 4K. No need to buy any of those for 1440p though, even a 1050 (non-Ti) is good enough for 60fps most of the time. I’m thinking 1080 Ti is a typo and you meant 1050 Ti. Which isn’t really strong enough for 4K at 60fps.
  • The difference between 1440p and 4K is negligible. You’d be on Ultra profile (detail) anyway, so what you actually see on screen doesn’t change.
  • CPU is the limiting factor in very busy areas, big group events, following a busy Pace Partner and lots of Makuri Islands. If most of your rides are those, spending big on a very good graphics card is a waste of money anyway. 4th gen Intel is the best balance of value to performance for Zwift. The frame rate will tank unless you spend a LOT more brass.
  • Neither monitor is good value if this is just for Zwift. The first has a pointlessly high refresh rate that won’t be used and the second is only 60Hz so you might as well buy a cheap 4K TV. Both are more expensive than the monitor I use and recommend for Zwift.

PM me your email address and I’ll send you some stuff.

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PS: give this a read, bearing in mind a few things have changed since (not least GPU prices). The general principles are still the same though. Zwift on PC: The Ultimate Guide to Running Zwift at Its Very Best - Zwift Insider

Post AI draft update you want to lock FPS at 60 (fixed cap via software) and maintain as close to this as possible to avoid inconsistent onscreen movement/wobble. 30fps is bad. 60-120fps is also bad. 60fps is good.
Note - I use a 240hz monitor and a 3080 graphics card at a fixed 60fps. Oh Zwift…

Thanks Dave for the very informative response.
You are right I meant 1050 Ti for the GPU as that’s what I’ve read in another article.
I’ve read the link you sent, before posting my questions as I was still unclear on the monitor side of things.
I’m hoping to aquire an old gaming pc from my uncle which will have a decent CPU I hope, so it may just need a GPU upgrade. I definitely want to achieve ultra settings and ideally at 4k as cheap as possible, so I’ll take all the advice on board.
I’m a little uneasy about buying a second hand GPU, especially in the current market, only as I know a few people who have been scammed, but I guess it’s the best way if I want to do it cheaply.
I’ll pm you if that’s still OK.

My next question is how do I pm someone on here! :joy:

The daft camera zooming back and forth thing? That happens when moving ‘through’ 60fps and is very annoying when circumstances (normally a group event) have you hovering around that frame rate. On a fixed refresh rate 60Hz monitor or TV I use 61fps to allow vsync to kick in properly, otherwise Zwift gets limited at 59.9fps for some reason. Only way to 100% avoid it without stutter or tearing is to cap at 59fps with adaptive sync or upgrade to a really fast CPU so you’re always at/over 60fps no matter what.

Rivatuner locked to 60fps does a good job. NVidia/AMD software may be less capable ironically at maintaining sub 60fps.