These days many of us try to build our very own PC by ourselves. In this regard, some of you might have faced some difficulties installing a few hardware, or some of you, the enthusiasts out there, really like new things and want to update your BIOS to see if you can gain some extra performance boost out of your PC.
Well, fear not, I am an enthusiast just like you who really like to experiment things out and squeeze a little bit of performance out of my PC if I can. Among many of us, there is a mystery around,
Is BIOS update good or bad?
To be more clear about everything surrounding BIOS and whether to update BIOS or not, keep reading till the end.
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What is BIOS?
BIOS stands for Basic Input/Output System in terms of computers. It is a chip situated on the motherboard which runs a basic program on the bootup of your PC. it integrates all the hardware components you install on the motherboard.
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BIOS has a few basic instructions that ensure essential components for the computer to run. BIOS runs a test known as POST (Power-on Self-Test), which helps the computer detect the basic components to power up the system.
If your computer does not pass the POST, then it runs a combination of beeps to inform you which component/s are missing or malfunctioning.
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What Are The Four Main Functions Of A PC BIOS?
BIOS runs very basic functions. Among them, I will be mentioning four main ones here:
- POST – Test the computer hardware and makes sure no malfunction or error exists before booting up the operating system.
- Bootstrap Loader – Locate the operating system, and if find a capable one, BIOS will pass the control to the operating system.
- BIOS Drivers – Low-level drivers that give basic control over the hardware of the computer.
- BIOS Setup or CMOS Setup – A configuration program that allows you to configure your hardware settings, namely date, time, password, etc.
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Can a BIOS chip be upgraded or updated?
Having a motherboard may concern you with the updatability of the BIOS chip. In this case, yes, you can upgrade your BIOS chip memory, but to do that, you need to replace the existing BIOS chip with new and more advanced ones.
However, data on a BIOS chip can be updated if it is a Flash BIOS. Using specially designed software, you can update your BIOS to fix a problem or add compatibility for new hardware to your motherboard. Most of the time, your motherboard needs a new update when installing new hardware to your outdated motherboard.
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Why Shouldn’t You Update BIOS?
BIOS updates are not significant software updates for your computer. Like, it does not include new security patches, add new features or give a performance boost. Typically new updates in BIOS include minor logs changes which fix a bug with an obscure piece of hardware or add compatibility with a new CPU.
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In the first place, if your PC is running smoothly, then you should not update your BIOS. It is very likely that you will not find any difference between your new version of BIOS and the older one. In fact, it may cause new bugs or issues for your computer, whereas the older version came through more testing.
Flashing BIOS is not easy as updating your Windows. You need to flash your computer from DOS (Disk Operating System) for updating BIOS. In this case, you need to boot DOS on a USB drive and restart the computer in that because updating BIOS from Windows may create issues. Every manufacturer has its own way of updating BIOS.
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To update your motherboard’s BIOS, you exactly need your motherboard’s software. Even if the software is for a slightly different version of your motherboard, then it will cause unnecessary problems.
Most of the time, BIOS flashing tools are made to detect if the motherboard is suitable for the software or not. But if the toll flashes your BIOS anyways, your motherboard may become completely unbootable.
Again, if there is a power outage during the update, your motherboard could become bricked and unbootable. Though new motherboards come with backup BIOS stored in read-only memory, not all motherboards do.
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When Should you Update BIOS?
Given the fact you will not see any performance improvement, the possibility of new additional bugs pop up, the potential for error during updating, you really should not update your BIOS unless you absolutely need to.
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Here are some reasons for you to update the BIOS:
- Bugs – If you face some bugs and are fixed in a newer version of the BIOS update, you can consider updating your BIOS. You can check the change log in the manufacturer’s website to which changes are made, and if you find your fix, then you may update the BIOS.
Your manufacturer may even suggest you update to the new version of the problem is fixed in their recent update when you contact their tech support.
- Hardware Support: From time to time, you may find your computer is not running because of installing a new piece of hardware. It may be simply caused by the fact the older version of BIOS does not recognize new hardware. In this case, an update is needed.
Most of the time, it happens for new CPUs. If you want to upgrade your computer’s CPU to a new CPU which is possibly one that wasn’t yet released when you purchased your motherboard, then you may need to update the BIOS.
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Before updating the BIOS, make sure you checked the changelog beforehand at least twice and if your system needs that update or not.
Yes, there is news about performance improvement from updating the BIOS version. But the amount of boost you will get will be very minor, let alone if there are any.
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Throughout the article, I have made it clear that if your system is working as intended, you don’t need to flash your BIOS and endanger the system. A saying goes, Don’t fix if it ain’t broke.
If you have further queries, don’t hesitate a bit to ask me. Also, let me know if the article was helpful to you.