Experience with Macbook air for Zwift?

Hi folks, just wondering if anyone has experience using a (new) macbook air on Zwift?

If I wasn’t taking Zwift into consideration I would get the cheapest new Macbook air. But I’m told macs aren’t the best for gaming and hence Zwift.

  • is it just a case of graphics not being so great?
  • would upgrading the processor, ram or storage help improve things?
  • should I be thinking about giving up on mac and getting something better for gaming at a similar price? any recommendations (£800 - £1200)?

Thanks in advance

You might want to ask this question on a Zwift forum.

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2014 Macbook Air is capable of running Z at lowest settings quite smoothly. For better graphics consider adding an egpu.

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A Macbook Air will run TrainerRoad a lot better than Zwift but it is okay. Like said above it will be on low settings but I guess low settings is better than no settings.

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I use a 2018 MacBook Pro (2-core) with an eGPU (radeon rx580-based) to run TR and Zwift@4k at the same time. Zwiftinsider.com has some articles on building a cost-effective PC that might be worth a read. Most of the time in zwift the graphics processor is what determines performance. Single-core CPU performance is important when in large groups, but mostly it comes down to GPU. TR is quite light on the processor and I only get the occasional stutter when zwift maxes out one of my CPU cores when big group rides hit dirt roads. Btw, zwift@4k is awesome.

A cheap way to do it is to get a small form factor business PC for a couple hundred dollars and add a inexpensive GPU and you can get zwift looking nice at 1080p or 4k resolutions. If you go the Mac route I’d look at an eGPU such as the Gigabyte Gaming Box RX580 or Sonnet eGFX Break Away Puck as they are one piece and ‘relatively’ inexpensive. Costs can go up when you get a standalone eGPU chassis and buy a separate graphics card.

You can also search zwiftilizer for different CPU/GPU/system combinations to see what kind of performance you can expect.

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I use an old Dell Inspiron from 2012 and run zwift full resolution and TR simultaneously with 2 monitors and it runs with no issues. On the other hand my MacBook pro 2013 has issued with only Zwift…

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That’s interesting because I have started running TR and Zwift on my 2011 MacBook Air with no issues at top speed. The only time I have a problem is if I’m trying to run a group workout through TR, in which case I just use my windows laptop for Zwift.

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If you want to run Zwift well, use a windows machine with a dedicated GPU. The difference in the experience is well worth it.

For the same price as the Macbook Air you will be able to get an entry level gaming laptop that will far outstrip performance both in terms of resolution and FPS.

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