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

#2
pr0n Inspector
Looks like everyone is overcompensating for the BIOS days by shoving ghastly interfaces down our throat. Seriously, what is the point of this gimmick? They should fit more data and settings in the same space instead of assaulting our eyes with useless graphics.
Posted on Reply
#3
Neuromancer
I liked the 990FX-UD5.. so much fun to play with and guess what... classic BIOS interface :)

I admit mousing ability is nice touch I use it some times, when I only have to change one thing. But when im into the bios im all KB.
Posted on Reply
#4
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
hellrazor said:
Sure doesn't look 3D......
It's as "3D" as the shooter you're playing. Stereoscopic 3D (eg: Avatard) and 3D graphics (eg: Quake 3 Arena) are two entirely different things.
Posted on Reply
#5
f22a4bandit
btarunr said:
It's as "3D" as the shooter you're playing. Stereoscopic 3D (eg: Avatard) and 3D graphics (eg: Quake 3 Arena) are two entirely different things.
Great point that people overlook. I also don't understand the negative reaction to a manufacturer trying to distinguish itself from the pack.
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#6
TheLostSwede
It's just a marketing name, the whole idea is to make the interface more accessible to people that aren't so familiar with it all. Maybe it's the wrong platform to launch it for, but this will trickle down to other models over time.
Posted on Reply
#7
Bundy
I like it, and I'm going to buy it.
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#8
Fx
fuck nice. i'm onboard
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#9
Prima.Vera
I like bios to be as fastest accessible as possible. Nobody is spending time in bios, is just to configure stuff and forget about it. Useless.:ohwell:
Posted on Reply
#10
WarEagleAU
Bird of Prey
Hopefully, this translates over to their AMD boards as well. I like the look and niche view of it. OF course, it would probably get old after a while, but at least they are thinking outside of the box.
Posted on Reply
#11
Scrizz
TheLostSwede said:
make the interface more accessible to people that aren't so familiar with it all.
the last thing we need is ignorant people dicking around in the BIOS/UEFI.
:banghead:
Posted on Reply
#12
twicksisted
i still dont think its as sexy as the asus UEFI... but thats just my opinion
Posted on Reply
#13
micropage7
tigger said:
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.
yeah if i buy that, im gonna flush the color. i hate the color that they use, cant they thinking something else that better like land mines, grenade,
but their uefi interface is nice, although not so attractive
Posted on Reply
#14
tigger
I'm the only one
I really like the uefi bios, i was the first person in my shared house to get a board with it, and all my friends ooh, and aahd over it. It does make thing a bit easier imo.
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#15
Nemesis881
Look at the temps on the third pic. WHAT THE??!! :eek:

The pistol is kinda cool I guess...no where near as cool as the gigabyte sniper. :rockout:
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#16
Trackr
Gigabyte just NEED to have the best, don't they?

First, HybridEFI - useless.

Second, TouchBIOS - useless.

Third, 3D EFI..

ARGH!

Why make these propeitary pieces of software? Who the heck wants to access their BIOS on a touchscreen? Who has a 3D monitor? Almost no one!!

JUST MAKE UEFI FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!
Posted on Reply
#17
theJesus
Trackr said:
Who has a 3D monitor? Almost no one!!
Who reads the whole post? Almost no one!!
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