Friday, November 4th 2011

Gigabyte Makes Up For Late UEFI Adoption with 3D UEFI Setup Program

With the Sandy Bridge LGA1155 platform, announced at the start of this year, the PC motherboard industry saw a wide transition to UEFI, a new board firmware that overcomes many of the limitations of the decades old BIOS, including the archaic user interface. The second biggest motherboard vendor by volumes, Gigabyte, wasn't part of that wave. It continued to use dated Phoenix AwardBIOS with a few riders that made it look like the company was dragging its feet over UEFI adoption.

First, it tried to address the 2.2 TB boot volume size limitation by coming up with an address-space tweak it ended up calling HybridEFI (which has nothing to do with EFI). Next, it addressed the need for a more intuitive (preferably GUI) setup program with a Windows-based CMOS setup program called TouchBIOS, it came with the Fisher Price looking interface that every other manufacturer's UEFI setup program had, topped off with touchscreen support. However, faced with the inevitability of facing lack of support for Ivy Bridge (more here) and Sandy Bridge-E, the company decided to take the plunge. It wants to come up with something that's a lot more functional than most others' UEFI setup programs that feel like the same old interfaces skinned. Enter Gigabyte 3D BIOS.

It works like this: When you hit DEL at POST to load up the setup program, it starts up the 3D BIOS home screen. On the home screen, you find a 3D rotatable image of your motherboard. You can use your mouse to spin the board around. And what's the utility of that you ask? Get this - certain parts of that motherboard image can be clicked to open up settings related to it. For example, you can click on a set of SATA ports on that rotatable image, and the program will open up SATA controller settings related to it. You can click on the memory slots, and presto all the memory tuning settings show up in a window.

That's not all, the visual elements are simply stunning, with smooth fonts, curves, and lavish use of alpha. The fine tuning pages don't feel merely like a skinned, mouse-enabled version of the old interface, but some genuine GUI elements such as sliders, tickboxes, radio buttons, and tabs are used. There is an element that looks like Windows Explorer address bar, which gives you a tree view of exactly which configuration page you're on, so you can trace back to other related settings. A video demo of this can be watched here.

Gigabyte is using an AMI UEFI backend, coupled with its own patented DualBIOS technology that protects against bad flashes. Props to Gigabyte for a truly GUI setup program.Source: Anandtech
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43 Comments on Gigabyte Makes Up For Late UEFI Adoption with 3D UEFI Setup Program

#1
erocker
Neat. Hopefully, it works like it's supposed to. :)
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#2
v12dock
Looks pretty, and I really like gigabyte
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#3
theJesus
Ugh, I want to upgrade and enjoy all this fancy new shit sooo bad :laugh:
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#4
Sasqui
by: erocker
Neat. Hopefully, it works like it's supposed to. :)
True... I wonder if you click on the "gun" pasted to the motherboard, do you get a bullet in the crotch?
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#5
erixx
Most stupid and ugly feature of a motherboard ever ever ever! A gun? Ok, a mobo for CS/COD players without a clue of computers. lol
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#7
Neuromancer
by: hellrazor
Sure doesn't look 3D......
Thats what I was thinking LOL
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#8
ACEkombatkiwi
It looks nice and all but will it be offered to all SB boards or just the SB-E? I am thinking the later as my Sniper 2 does not have the hardware on board :banghead:
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#9
Zudeo
This is the most useless thing I've seen...ever.
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#10
NC37
by: hellrazor
Sure doesn't look 3D......
Looks more like 2.5D at the most.
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#11
devguy
Yeah, I was half thinking they were trying to add 3d glasses support to their BIOS. That would've been a major facepalm.
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#12
DigitalUK
um thats not 3d Gigabyte thats normal uefi with a picture of the motherboard in the background. i was expecting to see a 3d model of the board ,click a setting and it takes you to the part of the board your working with.

just read part of the review which does do that so that is actualy pretty good.
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#13
NdMk2o1o
No word of compatibility for existing 1155 boards then? :rolleyes:
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#14
qubit
Overclocked quantum bit
This looks like a great implementation of UEFI. I reckon I'll be sticking to Gigabyte mobos then. ;)

EDIT

by: NdMk2o1o
No word of compatibility for existing 1155 boards then? :rolleyes:
Good question. It would be great if they'd backport it to the old S775 boards like I've got, but I can't see that happening as they're not being made any more. :ohwell:
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#15
AsRock
TPU addict
OMG were's the puke bin. Like the bios but OMG right from Disney land
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#16
KieranD
Pseudo 3D? I dont understand the point of it but i like that they tried something.
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#17
micropage7
at least they make a move to uefi and leave old bios, why they took so long? maybe they need a time to polish it, to lap it like that
glad to hear gigabyte join to put uefi in their board
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#18
LAN_deRf_HA
Nice to see they didn't take any community commentary to heart. Another assassin board with unnecessarily crippled sales.
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#19
random
Good to know, I've been with gigabyte for years mobo wise but was thoroughly disappointed by their P67 UD5 board, looks like LGA2011 is their comeback.
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#21
Damn_Smooth
I like the BIOS, but that board is one of the fugliest that I have seen.
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#22
xBruce88x
That's about as 3D and Red Alert II, still looks kinda cool though. Would be nice if the Advanced options would come on if you right click a part of the board or w/e.
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#23
mediasorcerer
Green, the faux par of mobos, haha. Bios looks quite the nifty.
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#25
tigger
I'm the only one
I think the board with the gun on it is retarded, ooh ooh its got a gun shaped heatsink. But does it cool better....no, just makes you look like a 12yr old kid.

3d uefi is pretty sweet though.
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