If you are a Windows user then you have most probably heard of the term “BIOS”. Basic Input Output System is pretty ancient and has been around since the 1980s. Since it has limitations, Intel has announced that it will replace the BIOS with UEFI on all of its chipsets by 2020. But what does UEFI stand for and how is UEFI different from BIOS.
What is UEFI?
UEFI stands for Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) is a specification for a software program that helps the computer’s firmware to connect with the Operating System. UEFI is the replacement of the BIOS.
UEFI is installed by the manufacturer at the time of manufacturing and just like BIOS, it is the first program that runs on the computer. UEFI is managed by the group of manufacturers which produce chipsets, hardware, system, firmware, and OS and it is called UEFI Forum.
What is BIOS?
To understand the UEFI you will need to understand what the BIOS is, it is a program similar to UEFI but much older. BIOS stands for Basic Input-Output System which you find in most computers these days. But as Intel has announced, it is evident that most of the systems by 2020 will have the UEFI system. BIOS has been around since the beginning of the computers and it is pretty outdated. Now many of you are wondering how MAC users have the UEFI system and Windows users don’t. The answer to this question is that Intel started working on the Extensible Firmware Interface (EFI) in 1998 and in 2006 Apple adopted it for their Mac lineup but many other manufacturers decided to stick to the BIOS system. So that’s why many Windows users have the outdated BIOS in their computer.
Why UEFI is better than BIOS?
BIOS is outdated and it hasn’t improved much since its inception, on the other hand, UEFI is designed with the aim to overcome the limitation of BIOS, so as a result UEFI brings is much better than BIOS. The following are a few of the reasons why UEFI is better than BIOS.
No Size limitations
For people who want the simple answer without any technical terms, BIOS has a serious limitation and it can only boot from drives of 2.1 TB or less and in the UEFI system there are no such limitations. Now let’s come to technical terms, BIOS uses the Master Boot Record (MBR) to store the information in the hard drive where UEFI uses the GUID Partition Table (GPT) to store the information. MBR uses the 32-bit entries in its table which limit the total physical partitions to only 4 and each partition can only be a maximum of 2TB in size. GPT uses the 64-bit entries which make it possible to support the different size possibilities of the hard drive.
UEFI is much faster than BIOS
BIOS must run in a 16-bit processor mode which only has 1 MB of space which makes the boot slower, on the other hand, UEFI can run in 32-bit or 64-bit mode which has more space and as a result, your boot process will be much faster.
UEFI is also much safer than BIOS and comes with many security checks which ensure the security of your computer. There is a feature called Secure Boot in UEFI which drastically improves the security of your computer, it only allows you to run the authentic drivers and services to load at the boot time which makes sure that no other malware can be loaded at startup. It also supports the network features from the UEFI firmware which help in remote troubleshooting and configuration. Where in BIOS, you have to be sitting in front of the computer to do it.
How to access the UEFI settings on your PC
UEFI isn’t supported on the old PC hardware so if your PC is old then you can’t switch to UEFI as it needs hardware support to run it. However, if your PC is modern then you can access the UEFI settings through the windows boot options menu.
To access the UEFI settings:
- Go to Windows Settings
- Click on Update & Security
- Select Recovery
- Under Advanced Startup click on Restart Now
- Select Troubleshoot
- Click on Advanced options
- Select UEFI Firmware Settings
- Click Restart
UEFI is the natural replacement of the BIOS system and with its extended and advanced features, it will bring more convenience to the users. However, we also think that UEFI is a kind of geek topic and most computer users or gamers may sit in their gaming chairs and never care if their system is running the BIOS or UEFI or Both. A modern computer has the option to run both UEFI and BIOS but we would recommend you shift to the UEFI as it is the future and you should take its extended benefits. You can learn more about UEFI on the UEFI Forum. Also, visit our website for the latest tech updates and guides.