Zwift on Mac - High CPU use

I’ve seen a few older threads on this but nothing recent. I’m new to using Zwift altogether and love the app but am disappointed with the graphics performance when using it through my Mac with a 4K TV. Even at low settings I get at best 8-10 FPS and frequent ~1s freezes when riding. It has not crashed during a ride and is acceptable but looks like Half Life did in 1998 on a P2.

When launching the app before starting a rideI watched resource use. CPU use goes to >100% for several seconds, locks up the machine (spinning wheel) for about 10s before responding again. It reads about 800 MB from disk then uses ~2 GB memory at idle. After 5 minutes of just sitting at the screen where the sensors are discovered CPU use never drops below 35% when it should be doing essentially nothing at this point. Memory and disk use do not change during this time.

I have a 2016 MacBook, 1.1 GHz m3, 256 GB SSD, 8 GB RAM, Intel UHD 515 graphics, and with OS X Mojave 10.14.6. I am using Zwift version 1.0.4326 also. While not as good as the new systems, it is well within recommended specs for most current apps and certainly should perform better than this.

Is there anything that can be done to improve performance or the app itself?

I’m on a 2012 MBP on Mojave and get about the same FPS. I can’t speak to resource use, but Macs are known as subpar gaming machines, mostly due to pedestrian graphics cards and lack of upgradeability.

I’ve chosen to live with the low FPS, since I’ll be replacing that machine in the near future. I’m really curious to hear how the new 16" MBP performs, or whether I’ll have to give in and splurge for a Zwift-dedicated Windows tower.

Do any other Zwifters have a modern Mac that can comment on performance with the current generation platforms? I’m not opposed to upgrading hardware if needed but given the lack of hardware configurations I’d consider building a dedicated PC for Zwift.

Has anyone built a PC that runs the app in 4K with good quality that can share their build specs?

This should be a good resource to see how different systems compare.

I was using a 2012 MBP for my first few rides (just got a trainer this winter). It wasn’t bad, but the graphics profile was definitely low end. For the past month I have been using a 2019 16" MBP. It’s like night and day, and the frame rate is quite smooth even when set to maximum graphics settings in the app.

That being said, I do not like using my laptop for this purpose. It generates too much heat for too long of a sustained period. I’d much rather build a cheap dedicated system for it – No Linux support yet?

I have same on MacBook Pro 15” 2019. Idk why zwift overheating so much even on lowest details. I stick to ipad but will be nice to zwift work on this.