Quite frankly, we're a little surprised the BIOS has lasted as long as it has, and so we're not the least bit shocked that MSI is already making preparations to retire the antiquated standard. In its place will be UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface), essentially a modernized bootloader originally developed by Intel and now backed by a number of heavy hitting tech giants, including AMD, American Megatrends, Apple, ARM, Dell, HP, IBM, Lenovo, Microsoft, Phoenix Technologies, and more.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, an MSI spokesperson told THINQ.co.uk that UEFI is literally right around the corner and that the BIOS is not long for this world.
"MSI will start to phase in UEFI starting from the end of this year, and we expect it will be widely adopted after three years," the anonymous MSI tipster revealed.
The spokesperson went on to say that the first new UEFI products will be built around Intel's Sandy Bridge chipset, which will extend from the entry-level on up to the enthusiast sector. These boards will materialize towards the end of the year and into early 2011.
"We won't consider UEFI as an expensive premium feature, but as a must-have for everyone!," the spokesperson added.
Overclocking enthusiasts have a pair of new motherboards to choose from, both from Asus, and both part of the company's Republic of Gamers (ROG) line. These include the Rampage III Extreme (X58) and Maximus III Extreme (P55), and they're loaded with high end amenities.
Some of the features would be wasted on the casual overclocker, such as the new LN2 mode. What this essentially does is trick the internal diode with a temporary false temperature reading, which should reduce or eliminate cold boot problems when using liquid nitrogen.
High level overclockers will also appreciate the new Extreme Engine Digi+, which is Asus's fancy way of describing its dynamic multi-phase power management scheme.
SATA 6Gb/s and USB 3.0 support are both present and accounted for, as is 10-channel audio, but we're most intrigued by the new USB-based BIOS flashing system. Flashing a BIOS with a USB stick is nothing new, but this one doesn't require a CPU, memory, or videocard. Asus says all you need is a working power supply, so if you pick up a brand new CPU that requires a BIOS update to work, you won't have to fumble around looking for an older chip just to flash the BIOS.
The Rampage III Extreme and Maximums III Extreme are available now for $399 and $349, respectively.
Intel isn't the only one getting jiggy with six-core desktop chips, AMD's planning a six-core party of its own. One motherboard maker who won't be showing up fashionably late is Asus, who this week announced a full range of mobos ready to support the upcoming Phenom II X6 parts.
"Besides being ready to support six-core processors, the Asus M4 Series gives users of every level the best performance and value with tis Core Unlocker feature," said Joe Hsieh, General Manger of Asus Motherboard Business. "This has received notable recognition from many of the world's top media organizations for deliver a phenomenal boost in performance."
There are several M4-based boards representing a variety of chipsets ready to support the 6-core parts, all of which will require a BIOS update. If you're planning to upgrade, be sure to check out which BIOS version you need (see list here) and get to flashing!
I have an HP Pavilion zv5001us laptop that is about six years old. It has a Phoenix BIOS, if I remember correctly. Whenever I try to access the BIOS, the computer prompts me for a password. I forgot the password and don’t know how to get around it. Thanks.
Read the Doctor's advice for Vincent after the jump.
Can we use Windows 7's new fast-boot capability and BIOS optimizations to get to the desktop in less than 30 seconds?
If you’re the kind of person who fumes at the microwave because it takes so long to nuke popcorn, you probably can’t stand the plodding boot of your PC, either.
And who can blame you? Time spent waiting for first the BIOS and then Windows to come to life is time that could have been spent working, gaming, or surfing the web.
Microsoft’s claim that Windows 7 could boot (from the BIOS) in 11 seconds first gave us the hope that such idle time might be lessened dramatically, but being Maximum PC we wanted to take the idea even further. We sought to not only replicate Microsoft’s claim, but to see how much time we could shave prior to the OS loading, with a combination of hardware and BIOS tweaks. Our ultimate goal: to have a machine up and running within 30 seconds of hitting the power switch.
So if your attention deficit disorder hasn’t already caused you to click to the next story, find out how we were able to achieve the shortest boot possible.
I had a problem with the speed on my Intel motherboard so I went into the BIOS and reset the RAM speed to 800MHz. On restart, I got three beeps, which signals a RAM failure or RAM not recognized on my board. Is there a way to reload the BIOS? I have tried resetting the CMOS by pulling out the battery but I still get three beeps with no POST. I even used the ISO method to create a BIOS disk image for a boot-from-disk, but the board still does the same thing.
I get nothing. No HDD light, no monitor. I even pulled the RAM and replaced it, and still nothing. The system is only six weeks old and it’s built on an Intel DQ963FX, Pentium E2200, Nvidia 9400 GT, 4GB of Kingston 1GB DIMMs, and a 650 watt power supply.
I have an Acer Aspire 5100 with a Phoenix BIOS. It came with an AMD Turion 64 single-core processor; I decided to upgrade to an AMD Turion 64X2 TL-64 dual-core processor. The computer recognizes everything but the processor model: In Device Manager it says “AMD processor model unknown.” The computer recognizes both cores of the CPU and gives the correct clock speed. How do I get my computer to recognize the processor model?
See our answer to Kevin's question after the jump.
Phoenix is working on the latest in BIOS technology and what have they got to show for it? They can boot a Windows 7 computer in less than 10 seconds, and post in just under 1.5 seconds.
The new technology called UEFI has been a long time coming, but it looks to be worth the wait. Steve Jones, chief scientist at Promise, showed off the new BIOS at IDF this week. He booted up a Lenovo T400 that made it to the Windows 7 desktop in less than 10 seconds. They also retrofitted a Dell Adamo that got there in under 20 seconds.
The guys at Engadget caught it all on video. Check it out after the jump.
Windows XP Mode ensures that applications designed for XP run seamlessly on Windows 7. Although legacy Windows XP apps run from within a virtualized environment, they can be accessed in exactly the same fashion as native Windows 7 apps.
Windows 7 users will have to ensure that their CPU supports Intel Virtualization Technology or AMD-V for Windows XP Mode to work. It is also important to check whether hardware virtualization, if supported by the CPU, is turned on or not. If this feature is disabled, it will have to be enabled in the BIOS settings.