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Author Topic: Upgrading Your BIOS - experiencing ecstasy  (Read 3233 times)

Beth UK

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Upgrading Your BIOS - experiencing ecstasy
« on: September 26, 2007, 11:10:33 AM »
I recently upgraded my whole system to 64-bit Vista. I have to say the experience has been a delightful one without the woes I have often seen associated both with Vista, and 64-bit computing. I can access huge amounts of RAM, and my graphics applications are flying!

Yesterday, however, brought an experience close to ecstasy when I upgraded my BIOS. It always strikes me as odd that quite often people neglect BIOS updates (whether through fear or ignorance) when these can be so fundamental to improving overall computing experience.

I have a new Mobo - Gigabyte GA-P35 Quad Core and while happy with the overall speed and stability of the system have felt a 'sluggishness' at times that simply should not have existed. Vista was running fine (locating by itself every driver it needed, and all software was working happily) and I have been accessing gorgeous chunks of RAM. The one issue that bugged me was a boot time of 10 minutes!!!! And the erratic sluggishness... Was this the machine, Vista, bad memory??

I never fly into updating BIOS because it can upset a balanced system and a BIOS flash is not without it's dangers. I decided my system wasn't 'feeling' balanced and so a BIOS update became an option. This was a good decision because checking the Mobo makers site it revealed two very recent BIOS upgrades. I was surprised to find myself two updates behind!

So I took the plunge and updated the BIOS - and wow, every single niggle I had vanished after reboot. The reboot itself went from 10 minutes to 50 seconds (!!) and it felt as if the system had discovered itself and its potential. I have never ever experienced such a huge change in a system - speed, stability, boot time etc etc.

So here is a little reminder to check your BIOS version - it can make huge differences!

CAUTION: Updating BIOS is a major process. ALWAYS read Manufacturers advice, backup everything, and ensure you choose the correct BIOS upgrade. Messing up a BIOS flash can ruin your motherboard. Some Mobo makers offer set-up installations that automatically check for the correct BIOS - well worth using! I was lucky also in that Gigabyte have a 64-bit compatible installer which made life really easy.



f0dder

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Re: Upgrading Your BIOS - experiencing ecstasy
« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2007, 05:44:35 PM »
So, did the readme from the BIOS update say what was fixed/added? Sounds like quiiiite some changes.
- carpe noctem

Beth UK

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Re: Upgrading Your BIOS - experiencing ecstasy
« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2007, 06:53:27 PM »
Quote
So, did the readme from the BIOS update say what was fixed/added? Sounds like quiiiite some changes.

Unfortunatey I find Gigabyte BIOS and driver update notes REALLY annoying for what they don't say. They love the phrase 'improve stability'! Hunting around though it seems that they improved and fixed some issues around dual-bios and memory performance which certainly explained some of my earlier system 'sluggishness'. The update also fixed 'ROM compatibility issues'.


steeladept

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Re: Upgrading Your BIOS - experiencing ecstasy
« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2007, 08:57:10 PM »
I can say from my experiences at work that HP/Compaq does not do a great job of documenting their fixes either.  Though at least they seem to make an attempt.  I remember a time we had to go through every machine we had (~600) at our location for some program upgrades for anti-virus and other similar level programs.  While we were at it, we upgraded all the BIOS's on all the machines.  I will state at this point that this is NOT recommended procedure by HP/Compaq.  Still, when we did this, not only was every machine to the latest stable BIOS setting, but we saw our average problem call drop from 20-30 a week to less than 5 a week!  Even if the other changes we made had some bearing on the results, I am convinced that the bulk of the results were from the BIOS update.  Many of the AV changes were made previously on some machines as they were put out a replacements and we still did not see that drastic a drop on those machines.  I guess the point of my rambling is that you should at least *consider* a BIOS update regularly even if you don't KNOW it will help.  Just make sure you realize the ramifications as stated earlier.