Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Differences between EFI and Bios

The two words that we talk about here may be totally new to a lot of people. If you have a computer-related background, and have knowledge about software and hardware, then you must have heard the words EFI and BIOS before. Here we highlight some of the differences between the two. But first, let’s see what the words mean.

EFI is an acronym for Extensible Firmware Interface. So is the word BIOS and stands for Basic Input/Output System. Both of these actually describe a firmware interface. BIOS is a software that comes built in in the PCs. When a PC is powered on, the first software that is run is BIOS. EFI is actually a new BIOS standard that was developed by Intel and was introduced along with the release of IA-64. This newer package improves the features of BIOS to a great extent. The major changes that were made include the riddance of boot loader in EFI, the ability to create drivers of which reverse engineering is not possible etc.

EFI is similar to a low-end OS (operating system). It can control all the hardware resources. Some of the features it has that were non-existent or of a lower performance in BIOS include the support mouse control, backing up your hard drive, visiting internet and installing drivers in EFI. Furthermore, BIOS has only a text interface. EFI supports GUI, that is, Graphic User Interface. OEM manufacture is able to provide a similar GUI but it is in effect a graphic BIOS only as the functions are greatly reduced. Whereas BIOS supports a single language user interface, EFI is a step ahead. It can support multi-languages in the user interface. This makes it easier to manage EFI for people who have mother tongues that are not English. There are a lot of other languages in which EFI can be managed and that accounts for its preference around the world.

Moving on, one of the most important difference between the two is that unlike BIOS, EFI is designed in modular. To be precise, there are two modular(s). The first one is the firmware manager whereas the other is system software manager. What makes EFI better than BIOS is its start-up which is very fast to BIOS and the fact that it is possible to upgrade its firmware. What’s more, EFI also supports new peripherals! BIOS takes a lot of time to start-up and its firmware cannot be upgraded.

The two are also different with respect to the computer languages in which they have been developed. BIOS uses ASM which is older and has fewer options. The more common and modern C language has been used to develop EFI. This makes EFI better adapted to hardware as well as firmware. In addition to this, EFI also has a greater fault tolerance level and error correction features and prompts. Therefore working on EFI is easier as the computer is able to spot errors and with the diagnosis done, any issue can be easily dealt with.

BIOS was designed in the 16-bit mode. EFI uses the 32-bit or 64-bit mode and in the foreseeable future, it is expected to be using the enhanced processor mode which will further improve its performance. Another reason why a person might prefer EFI over BIOS is that all system hardware models are accessible and it is also possible to surf the internet or browse the web without accessing upper operating systems. All this was never possible with BIOS.

Summary of differences expressed in points

1. EFI -acronym for Extensible Firmware Interface; BIOS-stands for Basic Input/Output System

2. BIOS- a software that comes built in in the PCs; PC powered on, the first software that is run is BIOS;EFI-a new BIOS standard developed by Intel

3. With EFI-riddance of boot loader, the ability to create drivers of which reverse engineering is not possible etc.; not possible with BIOS

4. Feature differences-support mouse control, backing up your hard drive, visiting internet and installing drivers in EFI (not in BIOS)

5. BIOS has only a text interface; EFI-has GUI interface (graphic user interface)

6. EFI can support multi-languages in the user interface, BIOS only one

7. Unlike BIOS, EFI is designed in modular-2-firmware manager and system software manager

8. Lesser start-up time in EFI

9. Computer language; EFI-C; BIOS-ASM

10. BIOS-designed in 16-bit mode; EFI- 32-bit or 64-bit mode

11. system hardware models are accessible, possible to surf the internet or browse the web without accessing upper operating systems-Only in EFI

12. EFI-greater fault tolerance level and error correction features


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