Does anyone of you use newer (~1 year old) Intel NUC PCs for Trainerroad, Zwift, etc.?

Many of these computers have 4K resolution, support for 2 screens and even Bluetooth 5.0 or 5.1, which should be good especially for the device pairing, because with BLT5 you have much better transmission speeds, in addition they are partly relatively cheap (generation older then 1 year, don’t need actual highend) and above all are very small?

On Amazon you find good devices arround 500 US Dollar or EUR!

I am very interest to buy one, but would be good to share experience before?

are they quiet after booting?

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I have an older one. The only things worth noting is that they are pretty progressive with the RAM and HD standards and they don’t have any included software(OS).

Sometimes you can’t use existing bits in your bin. I had to buy an M.2 SSD rather use my MSATA when M.2 was new. Otherwise, their perfect bare bones PCs.

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good to know, sure i want newer hardware standards like M.2 SSD, but the most interesting thing, is on Board BLT5.0 or BLT5.1 working with pairing of Smart Trainer (Neo2) and Vector3?

Mainly i use TR but sometimes it would be nice to ride on Zwift, so you can ride Zwift in 4K Resolution, the newer NUC’s supporting 2 or often more Monitors/TV’s with 4K?

Anyway, i will wait how the things will go with Windows, because it looks like Windows 11 will come soon, so i think it will be similar to WIN10, so i don’t think there will be a big surprise, we will see till the end of the month

Cycling accessories aren’t exactly known to be high-bandwidth. Pretty much any usb-bluetooth dongle will do for TR/zwift stuff. In fact, the biggest thing you want here is to get the antennae close to your gear, so a dongle sitting under your trainer with a usb-extesnion-cord to the box will give the best results, btle5/5.1 or otherwise.

I hear good things about the NUC. Most of these tiny-pcs are very quiet… like a laptop, or even quieter. I have few such boxes around, and just bought a super cheaper lenovo m93p and it’s working fine for my “gym” media center.

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yeahh, i know, but i want to go complete wireless without any issues, so i don’t want any cable for ANT Antenna or BLT dongle anymore.

For listening music i bought a Bluesound Setup (Soundbar+, Sub+ and little Rear Speakers), totally great, no cables anymore and with Tidal you can hear Master Quality with a Boom, it’s really a difference and supercool over a good Wifi in your Room

bt5/5.1 will be great for audio stuff.

Sure Audio is total great with 5.0/5.1 , but I have to say, since I have a mobile phone and tablet with 5.1 BLT, the connection with Edge, Forerunner and Vector 3 is much more stable than before with 4.0, mean so you haven’t a BLT Bottleneck

I used to use a 5 year old NUC until one day Windows decided to disable my Bluetooth, and nothing I did was able to restore it. So I got a new M1 Mac mini as a replacement.

If you plan to use it with Zwift, check the Zwift compatibility. Zwift use hardware specific profiles to determine what level of graphics it utilizes, so just because the NUC could do 4K doesn’t mean that Zwift will output this. For a perfect example of this see DCRainmaker’s review of the new Apple TV and Zwift


Hmmmm, i thought i would never buy a mac, but this mac mini looks great indeed!

Do you also use it for Zwift in 4k?

How is the sensor pairing with BLT compared to Windows or Android, completely the same?

I don’t know anything around the Apple world at all, have been in the other IT universe for over 40 years? :crazy_face:

No clue on Zwift as I don’t use it. I tried it ages ago when it was in beta, and it just didn’t do anything for me.

The Bluetooth connect on the Mac Mini has been rock solid. With this switch, we are an all Apple household, so that does have some benefits: easier for my wife to use when she is using the workout room / trainer (Stages SB20 smart bike), etc

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That means you use it with TR?
perhaps with Vector 3? you see L/R power in TR then, i read something in the past, that L/R is only viewable in the Macworld of TR?

Yes, I use it with TR. but TR doesn’t support L/R power at all currently.

The way the stages bike works is a little funky: you connect TR to the bike, not the Stages crank power meters, and disable power match (TR does this automatically now for the SB20). And the SB20 has its own version of power match where it automatically corrects the trainer power to match what the crank power meters are reporting. If you have a head unit, you could connect that to the crank power meters to show L/r power

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It will be a machine capable of running TrainerRoad pretty handily but I would not use it for Zwift. You need dedicated graphics for Zwift, especially for peak ride times and certainly at 4K. It may run at low res, but in my mind, not worth the $500 if it is a machine focused around that end. You might be able to find a used “gaming” capable PC with a dedicated graphics chip a generation or two back that will do the job at around that price-point. Might be good to check sales or Amazon prime day for deals on residual stock on older models as well.

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The TR bar graph is going to be f-Ing amazing with dual screens in 4K


sure, but i want something very small and quiet, for me the time is over with big and loud PC’s, because tablets and mobile phone today have the power of older pc’s, only the screen size is different.
Riding with Zwift would be a goody, is not often, i use a yearly TR subscription

I get it, just understand you’re likely not going to run zeift well if at all on that machine. If it is not a deal breaker, then you’re good :+1:

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2 years ago i got this answer @Bryce :

In the meanwhile i am fully upgraded to MacMini, iphone 12 and Apple TV and it looks like a great switch, thank for the Mac Mini Tip!

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I’m using a 6th generation i5 NUC. Works great. I don’t have it driving 4K video, but it works just fine for a dual screen 1080p setup. I’m using BT as well as ANT (via a Garmin dongle) to connect the various sensors.