UEFI to start dominating BIOS in 2011, slash PC boot time

By on October 1, 2010, 5:37 PM
One of the oldest pieces of computer technology still widely used today is on its way out, to be replaced by a more efficient alternative. The Basic Input/Output System (BIOS) will be succeeded by Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) next year, according to BBC News. Some manufacturers of embedded computers already use the system now but UEFI is expected to become mainstream very soon, claims that MSI voiced in June.

The BIOS is an integral part of any computer since it initializes a machine before the OS takes over. The trouble is that the BIOS has changed little in 25 years, was never designed to with the long term in mind, and thus is one of the main culprits of a slow boot up time.

The original EFI specification was developed by Intel but has since evolved into a general standard from which subsequent UEFI versions were developed. The UEFI forum is a non-profit corporation assuming responsibility for the management and promotion of the specification, with the goal to replace the aging BIOS. For consumers, the biggest advantage of UEFI will be the speed with which a machine starts up.

"At the moment it can be 25-30 seconds of boot time before you see the first bit of OS sign-on," Mark Doran, head of the UEFI Forum, is quoted as saying. "With UEFI we're getting it under a handful of seconds. In terms of boot speed, we're not at instant-on yet but it is already a lot better than conventional BIOS can manage, and we're getting closer to that every day."





User Comments: 23

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Guest said:

While i'm glad they are deciding to update the bios with something alittle more modern. I don't really have any complaints with booting on my Windows 7 machine with intel SSD. I can do a full restart in 60 seconds.

And if I actually time the boot of windows minus the bios its like 30 seconds. Also Windows 7 is very stable so I don't reboot often....so meh!

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

It is most definitely time to graduate from the BIOS. It reminds me of the torture we had to endure trying to get away from DOS.

p51d007 said:

Bios delay hasn't bothered me since XP was released. With a UPS, who reboots their computer anymore? I'm not a hard core gammer, but I do a ton of photoshop, watch tv, burn dvds, and still the only time I need to reboot is when MS update pops up and says to reboot, which is about once a month or so. I keep the auto updates OFF.

My computer, I'll pick & choose which updates I want to install, so 20-30 seconds is nothing...compared to the "old days" of win95, when it seemed you had to reboot every day for one reason or another (BSOD's)

Guest said:

@Guest: You definately have a problem. With my intel x25-m SSD i boot my system in maximum 25 seconds

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Well, I can see why Intel would like to get away from BIOS, beings as they write some of the worst. I mean really, isn't that why enthusiasts avoid Intel motherboards like the plague? No provision for overclocking, no custom settings for memory, etc.

So all this does beg the question, "how much functionality will have to be sacrificed with this new system"?

If there's a compromise to be made, I'd like to see it in the of control and functionality, rather than simply boot speed.

Boot time really hasn't been a problem for a few years. I full well realize that many of the people at sites like this think that they're too important to wait a few extra seconds, but get a grip, you take yourselves way too seriously.

hellokitty[hk] hellokitty[hk], I'm a TechSpot Evangelist, said:

captaincranky said:

So all this does beg the question, "how much functionality will have to be sacrificed with this new system"?

IMO fastest boot possible:

Power on -> load OS by default,

Power on + spam ESC/Del/F12 -> extensive options.

I wonder if intel will try to prevent overclocking...with those new $50 speed upgrades they're selling.

Boot time really hasn't been a problem for a few years. I full well realize that many of the people at sites like this think that they're too important to wait a few extra seconds, but get a grip, you take yourselves way too seriously.

I've already adapted to slow boot times, but it'd be undeniably nice to boot-up faster.

EXCellR8 EXCellR8, The Conservative, said:

am i the only one who uses the sleep function? minus getting my new computer up and running, i barely ever see the BIOS anyways...

regardless, I'd like to see the technology updated a bit... but only if i can still have my overclocking options ready and waiting

Lokalaskurar Lokalaskurar said:

I was wondering when it was time to put that 80's relic, BIOS, down.

Guest said:

The greatest advance of the UEFI is not faster boot up time. There are many other improvements:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extensible_Firmware_Interface

BIOS is 30 year old. This is very much in the field of computers.

MrAnderson said:

I find it strange that Tablet manufacturers that want to produce windows based Tables would not use a UEFI solution. I don't know if they are or not but the boot times on the devices I have seen still seem pretty long. I look forward to the UEFI... I wonder if they will use it also as a way to inject DRM in under our noses. Also, I wonder what changes in machine/assembler will take place.

Guest said:

At the Other guest you need to reread my post. A full restart is 60 seconds so the countdown starts from in windows then shut down then back to desktop. If I just time from start up its about 30 seconds. It also doesn't help that these Asus P6T deluxe is a slow booter, Your motherboard and bios not to mention how many items it has to scan at boot up like external controllers external HD's all add to it.

And I do have a marvel controller and ESATA hd on my computer. So nothing is wrong with my machine we just most likely don't have the same motherboard and the same devices hooked up to it.

It not as simple as I have a X25-M and boot up is 25 seconds that doesn't tell me anything without the rest of the details and how you are timing it.

And i'm also on a UPS so restarts are very rare for me.

tengeta tengeta said:

Took em long enough? I'll miss the basic boot screens though.

Guest said:

This article missed a few points about the importance of updating BIOS.BIOS got updated when the world went from 8 bit to 16 bit to 32 bit computing, hasn't been updated since then.Present BIOS only supports 2 TB hard drives, it a bit like 32 bit versions of windows only being able to address about 3.5 gigs of memory-its all mathematics.It would be nice to have a 5 TB hard drive-we have to update BIOS first though.Go from 32 bit to 64 bit.Its going to be expensive modernizing all our drivers and firmware,that I suspect is why it hasnt been done yet.

jonelsorel said:

If it takes 30 seconds to get past your bios, I think you might have a slight problem..

Guest said:

Apple have been using EFI in Macs for years now. Always a few steps ahead of the curve they are.

Benny26 Benny26, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Quote: In terms of boot speed, we're not at instant-on yet

It's called standby.....Instant-on for me

Guest said:

jonelsorel

use an Asus P6T Deluxe motherboard then get back to me.

Trillionsin Trillionsin said:

captaincranky said:

If there's a compromise to be made, I'd like to see it in the of control and functionality, rather than simply boot speed.

Boot time really hasn't been a problem for a few years. I full well realize that many of the people at sites like this think that they're too important to wait a few extra seconds, but get a grip, you take yourselves way too seriously.

As I agree with the functionality and control over boot speed. (Who the hell cares about half a minute?)

As for the other comment.. what does that even mean? lmao, sounds like someone is taking something too seriously...

Trillionsin Trillionsin said:

trillionsin said:

captaincranky said:

If there's a compromise to be made, I'd like to see it in the of control and functionality, rather than simply boot speed.

Boot time really hasn't been a problem for a few years. I full well realize that many of the people at sites like this think that they're too important to wait a few extra seconds, but get a grip, you take yourselves way too seriously.

As I agree with the functionality and control over boot speed. (Who the hell cares about half a minute?)

As for the other comment.. what does that even mean? lmao, sounds like someone is taking something too seriously...

Oh, I also have a ASUS P6T Deluxe V2

Maybe V2 increases boot speed, but regardless.. the boot speed is one of the last things on my mind at this point.

Guest said:

I'm on the V2 with 901 bios expressview and other stuff are turned off.

However everyone that I know has similiar boot times with these boards aslong as the timing is done proper. I had friends telling me they were doing 30 second reboots. Then I found a VB script on google that will restart your machine and time it and after I sent it to them they were all magically now at 60 to 70 sec boots.

So how they were calculating the time was the error.

And I agree boot speed it a minor issue since my system is on a UPS and I rarely have to reboot if ever.

Guest said:

And, if you use an OS that supports Ksplice, you have to reboot even less.

Guest said:

Using Hibernate on XP, some 30 seconds to fully operational system (5400 rpm). Sure, 3 seconds would be nice but come on, I can't take a piss in 3 seconds.

cardriverx said:

Guest said:

Apple have been using EFI in Macs for years now. Always a few steps ahead of the curve they are.

Except with processors, video cards, and basically all the hardware they use in their computers.

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