UEFI and BIOS: what are the differences?

Today we are going to explain the differences between UEFI and BIOS. Surely at some point, you have heard about it, and they are the technologies that control the hardware of your computer when you start them. However, both do not do the same, so differentiating is good.

To make it simple we can say that one is the successor of another. The BIOS has been present in computers since the 80s, so you will understand that after so long it is a bit outdated. Its replacement is the UEFI, which does the same but adds new features and design to offer you greater control of your computer.

But before entering you have to keep in mind that in both cases we are facing firmware, a portion of code that is stored in a separate memory located on the motherboard of your computer. This two firmware contains the instructions that control the operations of your circuit equipment.

What are the BIOS and UEFI?

The BIOS was created in 1975, and its acronym means Basic Input Output System or Basic Input and Output System. Its main function is to start the hardware components and launch the operating system of a computer when we turn it on. It also loads the energy and temperature management functions of the computer.

When you turn on your computer the first thing that is loaded into it is the BIOS. This firmware is responsible for starting, configuring, and verifying that the computer hardware is in good condition, including RAM, hard drives, motherboard, or graphics card. When finished select the boot device (hard drive, CD, USB, and so on) and start the operating system, and it gives you control of your computer.

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The Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) is the successor firmware, written in C, of ​​the BIOS. About 5 years ago, technology companies realized that the BIOS was becoming obsolete, and 140 of them joined the UEFI foundation to renew it and replace it with a more modern system.

In essence, everything that we have said before the BIOS does is also done by the UEFI. But it also has other additional functions and substantial improvements, such as a much more modern graphical interface, a secure boot system, a faster boot speed, or support for hard drives of more than 2TB.

The differences between UEFI versus BIOS

Here is a list of the main differences between UEFI and BIOS. These are the features that have been added in the UEFI so that it is not limited to replacing BIOS so that it can importantly enhance performance.

  • The most notable difference for the average user between both firmware is in this aspect. The BIOS has an MS-DOS design, and you can only move through it using the keyboard. The UEFI instead has a much more modern interface, allows you to include animations and sounds, and allows you to use the mouse to interact with it.
  • The UEFI can connect to the Internet to update.
  • The UEFI code runs in 32 or 64 bits, while the BIOS usually does it in 16 bits.
  • Computer startup is faster with UEFI than it was with BIOS.
  • BIOS systems only support up to four partitions and hard drives with a maximum capacity of 2.2 TB. That is because they use the MBR partition scheme. UEFI on its part uses a more modern GPT(GUID Partition Table), which puts the theoretical limit of hard disk capacities at 9.4 zettabytes. However, no hard disk of that size has been manufactured at the moment.
  • UEFI also tries to improve security with its Secure Boot functionality. It is a safe boot that prevents the start of operating systems that are not authenticated to protect you from bootkits, a malware that runs when you start Windows.
  • And finally, the UEFI can be loaded into any non-volatile memory resource, allowing it to be independent of any operating system. You can also add third-party extensions, such as overclocking tools or diagnostic software.

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