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Intel Upgrades Hardware

Swedes Show Intel Sandy Bridge Running BIOS-Successor UEFI 216

Posted by timothy
from the oofi-is-swedish-anyhow-isn't-it? dept.
An anonymous reader writes "SweClockers.com has gotten it hands on a Intel Sandy Bridge motherboard running Unified Extensible Firmware Interface, the long awaited successor of age-old BIOS. Among the differences is a significantly more user-friendly interface, the ability to boot from drives larger than 2 TB and faster boot times. Check it out, on video, in Swedish." Here's an Google's translation of the article.
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Swedes Show Intel Sandy Bridge Running BIOS-Successor UEFI

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  • by joib (70841) on Thursday November 04, 2010 @06:30PM (#34130704)

    NIH?

  • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Thursday November 04, 2010 @06:39PM (#34130810)

    There are plenty of reasons to want BIOS/UEFI access. The problem with having a totally inaccessible one like Apple does is that if anything goes wrong or you need to change something, well then you are fucked. Apple "just works" until it doesn't and then it can often be more of a problem to fix. I am reminded of a Douglas Adams quote: "The difference between something that can go wrong and something that can't possibly go wrong is that when something that can't possibly go wrong goes wrong it usually turns out to be impossible to get at or repair."

    So simple tasks that the BIOS/UEFI/other firmware provides are things like checking the RAM configuration and hardware monitors. In the event there's a problem with the system you can see things at a lower level, like which RAM slots are acknowledging what RAM or if there is a temperature or voltage problem. It can also be used for configuration tasks. Some mundane, like turning off integrated components (sound, net) if they aren't needed, some complex like overclocking.

    There's good reasons for access to it. Most people probably never need it, but it is good to have it there for those that do. All the functions are there, might as well have an interface so people can control them if required.

  • Re:Kerma vhureeng (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 04, 2010 @06:44PM (#34130856)

    Bork! Bork! Bork!

  • Re:Microsoft (Score:2, Insightful)

    by PaulMeigh (1277544) on Thursday November 04, 2010 @06:48PM (#34130874)

    And it really does load 2TB drivers.

  • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Thursday November 04, 2010 @06:49PM (#34130882) Journal
    OpenBIOS is an implementation of OpenFirmware, which is an independent IEEE standard implemented by multiple vendors. It was, therefore, completely inappropriate for an Intel platform.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 04, 2010 @09:07PM (#34131920)

    Once you strip out the pretentious apple worship, what's left is the same old 'it can't break...' until it does fallacy.

    1. you don't use the bios config screen to troubleshoot. you use it to SET boot options. EFI includes the ability to add troubleshooting utilities. Sometimes the hardware DOES fail, apple logo or not. It would be nice to simply press a key at bootup and gain access to a menu of hw testing utilities.

    2. apple does not 'create' the hardware. No more than HP or dell or any other oem creates hardware. They design a motherboard (maybe) and a shell to put it in. Everything else is off the shelf components. A user accessible EFI would be a boon to techies who end up having to deal with their nontechnical friends/familys' apple products.

  • by John Hasler (414242) on Thursday November 04, 2010 @09:18PM (#34131996) Homepage

    UEFI gives motherboard manufacturers much better possibilities of implementing their own software.

    That is not a plus.

  • by DarkXale (1771414) on Thursday November 04, 2010 @09:24PM (#34132036)
    Its less about appearance and more about adaptability. UEFI software is not as strict about which motherboard it runs on - and you can implement significantly more functionality into it, helped by the fact that its much easier to code for (C++ rather than Assembly). The fact that its capable of handling more than 64kilobytes of RAM helps for this as well. Its not based on code thats older than quite a number of posters here. Dozens and dozens of difficult (thus costly) modifications have had to be made to BIOS in order for it not to break modern systems. I remember when more than 128gb was unusable on a lot of machines because of BIOS; and frequently forced a complete motherboard replacement because BIOS just could not be reliably updated on a broad scale. The fact that its adaptability also permits greater ease of use is merely a bonus; its not its purpose. And it boots faster too. BIOS has been horribly mutilated and twisted into something it was never meant to do. It should've been replaced years ago.
  • by Hylandr (813770) on Thursday November 04, 2010 @11:46PM (#34132758) Homepage
    Amen to this.

    Just to get my two cents in, it's also useful when all you have is damaged hardware to start with, Having access to that bios means I can lower certain speeds or increase wait states until things work again. CPU got a little too hot and BSOD's windows? Slow it down until it's stable. Ram going bad? Increase CAS and or RAS Serial Ports bad (Yea who uses them anymore right? ) Disable them, add a card and get the equipment hooked back up.

    Mac? I had to support a Mac only environment for the past two years, on to a better job now thank you. When a Mac dies, there's no options. Power supply? $200+. Power supply for a PC ? $50. Mac lovers can worship their shiny white ... equipment... The reality of the professional working world is the Mac is eye candy, and only useful for performing work the same way a cooper mini is useful for hauling lumber. It's compact and cute, but don't expect to move much in it.

    - Dan.
  • by node 3 (115640) on Friday November 05, 2010 @03:10AM (#34133484)

    Once you strip out the pretentious apple worship, what's left is the same old 'it can't break...' until it does fallacy.

    "Pretentious Apple worship"? WTF? The only thing that even remotely matches that is when I called out Yet Another PC user who thinks his PC knowledge applies to Macs. This is no different than a Windows user snobbing about Linux, or yes, Mac users talking about PCs, etc. It wasn't about Macs being superior, but someone talking about something they are ignorant of.

    I wasn't being the pretentious one. I was just calling it out, although probably not terribly tactfully.

    1. you don't use the bios config screen to troubleshoot. you use it to SET boot options.

    I never said you do. In fact, I wrote:

    "On the PC, the BIOS settings program is fundamentally used to set motherboard options."

    apple does not 'create' the hardware.

    Yes, they do.

    No more than HP or dell or any other oem creates hardware.

    Yet Another PC user syndrome strikes again. Apple engineers their hardware far more than Dell and HP do. They certainly don't create each part, and I never said they did. In fact, this is a completely irrelevant sidetrack from my point which is that Apple decides the exact specifications for each Mac, and they write their own operating system, which makes the usual need for BIOS settings entirely unnecessary. You don't have to tweak settings to correct strange boot problems or address stability issues. Granted, you don't have to do this on PCs that much anymore either, but Sycraft-fu's point was that when you *do* need it, it's there, and by your statement that "what's left is the same old 'it can't break...' until it does fallacy", you are continuing it.

    Macs just simply don't break in the way that benefits from those BIOS options. They do break, but never in that way. If you have a counter-example, I'm open to hearing it.

    A user accessible EFI would be a boon to techies who end up having to deal with their nontechnical friends/familys' apple products.

    Not really. But like I said, an example would help settle this instead of simply making vague assertions.

  • by node 3 (115640) on Friday November 05, 2010 @03:12AM (#34133496)

    Mac? I had to support a Mac only environment for the past two years, on to a better job now thank you. When a Mac dies, there's no options. Power supply? $200+. Power supply for a PC ? $50. Mac lovers can worship their shiny white ... equipment... The reality of the professional working world is the Mac is eye candy, and only useful for performing work the same way a cooper mini is useful for hauling lumber. It's compact and cute, but don't expect to move much in it.

    You were a PC support employee who found himself out of his element when tasked with supporting Macs. Clearly your preconceived notions cannot be false, so therefore Macs can be nothing other than overpriced toys.

  • by oxygene2k2 (615758) on Friday November 05, 2010 @04:56AM (#34133762)

    Intel delivers all of their boot support code as EFI drivers these days.

    But not as open source. Tiano is a huge bunch of code, but the really interesting bits aren't in there.

    EFI is much better than BIOS. It runs in full 32/64 bit mode.

    coreboot welcomes you to 1999. Besides that: why is it that EFI exists in "either 32 or 64bit", instead of cleanly supporting both? The additional complexity of thunking libraries can't be it, as tiano already provides a runtime loader to resolve in-flash libraries...

    Booting Intel machines is really fucking complicated, and EFI makes it much simpler.

    Sorry, but EFI is fucking complicated, too. runtime linker - I rest my case.
    It's just that you don't have to care about this complexity when intel provides the closed source components to you to plug in.

    The most reasonable action about EFI over the last few years was the EFI shell effort. Finally Intel admits that they designed an operating system instead of a hardware bringup.

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