UEFI vs. BIOS, which one is better and which one is better to use? This is a good question for anyone who wants to find out how the basic hardware works so that he can customize the screws and nuts of his PCs. In short, UEFI is newer, better and comes loaded in most modern computers. But things are not as simple as black and white. Below is an overview of the functionality that both UEFI and BIOS provide and why you might choose one over the other.
BIOS and UEFI are two firmware interfaces for computers that act as an interpreter between the operating system and the computer firmware. Both of these interfaces are used to boot the computer to boot the hardware components and run the operating system stored on the hard drive.
The Basic Input Output System (BIOS) works by reading the first sector of the hard drive that has the next boot device address or code to execute. The BIOS also selects the boot device to boot from the operating system. Because the BIOS has been in use since the beginning (it has been around since the MS-DOS era), it still works in 16-bit mode, limiting the amount of code that can be read and run from the firmware ROM.
UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) does the same task a little differently. It stores all the boot and startup information in the .efi file instead of the firmware. This file is stored on your hard drive inside a special partition called the EFI System Partition (ESP). The ESP partition also contains the boot load programs for the operating system installed on the computer.
UEFI is designed to completely replace the BIOS and bring many new features and enhancements that cannot be implemented through the BIOS. Some of these features are discussed below.
Breaking out of size limits
The BIOS uses the primary boot record (MBR) to store information about the hard drive data while UEFI uses the GUID (GPT) partition table. The main difference between the two is that MBR uses 32-bit values in its table, which limits the total physical partitions to only 4. Each partition can have a maximum size of only 2TB, while GPT uses 64-bit values in its table, which dramatically expands support for hard drive size options. (More on the difference between MBR and GPT).
In addition, UEFI supports larger HDD and SDD drives. UEFI’s theoretical size limit for bootable drives is more than nine zB, while the BIOS can only boot from 2.2TB or less drives.
Speed and performance
Because UEFI is not platform dependent, it may be able to improve your computer’s boot time and speed. This is especially the case when you have large hard drives installed on your computer. This enhancement depends on how UEFI is configured to operate. UEFI can perform better while booting hardware devices. Usually this speed improvement is part of the total boot time so you will not see a huge difference in the total boot time. Developers can take advantage of a UEFI shell environment that can execute commands from other UEFI applications and further optimize system performance.
Secure boot is a feature of UEFI that has been implemented in Windows 8 and is now the standard for Windows 10. UEFI’s biggest advantage is its security over the BIOS. UEFI can only allow authentic drivers and services to load at boot time, and make sure that no malware can be loaded while the computer is running. Microsoft has implemented this feature to deal with pirated issues in Windows, while Mac has been using UEFI for quite some time. Secure Boot works by requiring a digital signature of boot loaders that should require a digital signature by the core. This process continues until the operating system is fully operational. This secure boot feature is also one of the reasons why it is more difficult to install another operating system on a Windows computer.
Why choose UEFI?
One reason to choose this over the more familiar BIOS is this Intel no longer intends to support The “traditional” BIOS in 2020.
UEFI provides the following functionality and benefits:
- Languages: The BIOS is written in assembler, while UEFI is written in simpler C language.
- Drives: UEFI supports larger HDD and SDD drives. UEFI’s theoretical size limit for bootable drives is more than nine zB, while the BIOS can only boot from 2.2TB or less drives.
- Drivers: UEFI has complex but discrete drivers, while the BIOS uses Option ROM drivers (read-only memory). With the BIOS, updating the hardware requires re-tuning the ROMs for compatibility. This specification applies to separately written upgradeable UEFI drivers.
- Boot time: In most cases, UEFI provides faster boot time for the operating system.
- security: UEFI offers enhanced security features. “Secure Boot” prevents the computer from booting from unsigned or unauthorized applications. The operating system must have a recognizable key. Without a secure boot enabled, a PC is exposed to malware that corrupts the boot process.
- Data processors: UEFI operates in 32-bit or 64-bit mode. The BIOS only runs in 16-bit mode and may only use MD 1 of operating memory.
- user interface: UEFI provides a more intuitive graphical user interface that can be navigated with a mouse and keyboard, as opposed to a BIOS.
Another benefit of UEFI is this Industrial Industry Interface Forum Maintains it and is more agnostic to the manufacturer than BIOS.
Why choose BIOS?
Some reasons why a user might choose an older BIOS instead of a UEFI include:
- The BIOS is ideal if you do not need gentle control over the operation of your computer.
- BIOS is sufficient even if you only have small drives or partitions. Although many new hard drives exceed the 2 terabyte limit of BIOS, not every user requires such an amount of space.
- UEFI’s secure boot ‘feature may cause OEMs to prevent users from installing other operating systems on their hardware. If you are left with the BIOS, you eliminate this problem.
- The BIOS provides access to hardware information in the interface, whereas not every UEFI application does. However, the hardware specifications are accessible in the operating system.
Some newer PCs allow you to run UEFI in older generation BIOS mode. Users interested in maintaining machines running older operating systems, including Windows 7, will want to enable this feature.
1. How to check if I am using UEFI or BIOS?
You can easily check if you are running in BIOS or UEFI mode by clicking Start, searching for “System Information”, and then under “System Summary” in the left pane, while searching for “BIOS Mode” on the right. . UEFI means UEFI (clear), while “Legacy” means “BIOS” (slightly less clear).
2. Is UEFI better than BIOS?
As you may have realized, UEFI is the one to use in most cases. It’s supposedly faster boot times, can operate in up to 64-bit mode, and is usually more advanced in its features and distribution options than the BIOS. Of course, if you have an antique computer that only runs BIOS, then you will need to upgrade your motherboard or computer to enjoy UEFI.
Can I convert BIOS to UEFI?
Now that you know that UEFI is the way to go in most cases, you probably want to switch to it, right? Well, you can, depending on a number of factors! There are a few steps to do this and a few things to consider.
You can do this process directly through Windows 10 (v1703 or later), though you may also need to switch from “Legacy BIOS” to UEFI through your motherboard BIOS settings (which can be accessed by clicking again) F8, F2 or poor (Usually) while your computer is booting.
4. How do I update my UEFI (or BIOS)?
Updating the BIOS (or UEFI) is a big decision that is recommended if you want the latest features and the motherboard side of things to work optimally, but can have serious consequences if your computer crashes during a BIOS update or otherwise fails.
More modern motherboards allow you to update the BIOS directly through the BIOS (accessible to it when your computer boots), while on laptops the updates tend to occur automatically.
With older motherboards, you may need to go to the motherboard manufacturer’s website, download the correct BIOS version for the correct motherboard to the flash drive, then insert the flash drive into the computer, reboot the computer, and it should boot to the flash drive. And the BIOS update process.
Most modern computers come with UEFI. This will provide you with the latest security measures, an easier-to-use interface for customizing your computer, and support for modern operating systems and more powerful specifications. To learn more about your PC, why not check out your CPU with Cinebench or how to install the Google Play Store on Windows 11.
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