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Old 06-02-2011, 09:07 PM   #1
Rob Williams
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Default A Quick Look at GIGABYTE's TouchBIOS

To help make up for the lack of a proper EFI solution, GIGABYTE has given its Z68 users what it touts as being a "Hybrid EFI" - or in non-marketing speak, a piece of Windows software for interfacing with an old-school BIOS. We take TouchBIOS for a spin and see if it has what it takes to become a viable solution for most users.

Read through Ryan's full look at the initial version of TouchBIOS and then discuss it here!
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Old 06-02-2011, 09:33 PM   #2
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Requiring the system to be restarted (which is a sensible requirement) kinda defeats the purpose, no? Having to bring the full OS to make changes to the BIOS that then require a restart... not gonna do it. Although, I suppose there can always be an argument for unknowledgeable users who may benefit from a full blow application that can give them detailed information, in contrast to being forced to fiddle with traditional BIOS settings when the board doesn't offer UEFI. Was this TouchBios in any way newb-friendly? Did it explain every setting with popups or somesuch?
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Old 06-02-2011, 09:50 PM   #3
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Not even close, marfig. It still requires users to have an idea of what they are doing, before they do it.
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Old 06-02-2011, 10:28 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marfig View Post
Requiring the system to be restarted (which is a sensible requirement) kinda defeats the purpose, no?
This is the first thing that came to mind when I first learned of TouchBIOS. For those who know and understand overclocking, using the BIOS is 10x faster, and smoother. You can adjust multiple settings faster in the BIOS itself, and there's no need to boot into the OS first. I can see TouchBIOS having some use, but nothing is going to compare to a true EFI solution.

It's too bad that we'll have to wait so long to see one of those from GIGABYTE itself.
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Old 06-02-2011, 10:59 PM   #5
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hmm... yeah. Definitely they need to rethink. I'd support the idea of a friendly tool for less tech-able users. Otherwise this just seems like a distraction from what people are really asking of gigabyte.

Weird though why so resistant in adopting UEFI.
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Old 06-02-2011, 11:08 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marfig View Post
Weird though why so resistant in adopting UEFI.
I had a good chat with a friend from GIGABYTE's Taiwan HQ earlier this month and this is what he said regarding it:

Quote:
Since it [UEFI] is new some of the initial UIs that have been slapped on top of the AMI BIOS from some MB companies has been anything but nice. It is also much harder to transition all the older platforms to UEFI, since it requires a lot of coding which takes a lot of time. That is why we have only seen UEFI on P67 series so far.

Currently we have Dual BIOS Hybrid EFI and Touch BIOS that allows our users to take advantage of the benefits of UEFI BIOS…ie, you can boot from 2.2TB HDDs and you can use a mouse with image-based icons (which are really the only main benefits so far for users). I also would argue Touch BIOS has some benefits over UEFI in that is Windows based, so you don’t have to enter BIOS to make BIOS changes, it’s customizable by the user which is not possible currently via UEFI and users can use a touch screen.

We are currently developing a UEFI BIOS that is scheduled to launch on the next platform series. We have our own internal BIOS team (many of them helped develop original Award BIOS). This allows us much more flexibility than the other manufacturers who get their BIOS from only 1 source. This means our BIOS will always be unique between all other MB companies and we can quickly make the changes we want, rather than having to wait for AMI’s schedule. Need some weird overclocking setting? We can do that almost instantly. Plus, we don’t have to pay a 3rd party for the honor.
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Old 06-03-2011, 07:02 AM   #7
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Excellent material you have there rob! Thanks. Ever considered turning it into an article?

Here's some thoughts of my own, as if a dialog it was:

>> Since it [UEFI] is new some of the initial UIs that have been slapped on top of the AMI BIOS from some MB companies has been anything but nice.

Argumentative. But fully agree.

>> It is also much harder to transition all the older platforms to UEFI, since it requires a lot of coding which takes a lot of time. That is why we have only seen UEFI on P67 series so far.

Yeah. But we have seen it. Not just from Gigabyte

>> I also would argue Touch BIOS has some benefits over UEFI in that is Windows based, so you don’t have to enter BIOS to make BIOS changes, it’s customizable by the user which is not possible currently via UEFI and users can use a touch screen.

err... yes. And?

>> We are currently developing a UEFI BIOS that is scheduled to launch on the next platform series.

Ah! That's more like it. Not to mean I actually care about UEFI (to be honest, not much). Just that all this hybrid EFI or Touch Bios talk was going nowhere. It's... you know, not what UEFI was supposedly designed for. Neither it is clear in what way can this be seen as an improvement. I can only see disadvantages over a standard UEFI implementation. And what's with touch screens?...

>> This means our BIOS will always be unique between all other MB companies

Not sure yet whether that is a good or bad thing. If anything, the tech fight worth fighting has been always for convergence, not divergence. Still... whether this should also be true of the BIOS, is something I never gave much thought to be honest.

>> and we can quickly make the changes we want, rather than having to wait for AMI’s schedule. Need some weird overclocking setting? We can do that almost instantly. Plus, we don’t have to pay a 3rd party for the honor.

Yes. But his doesn't have much to do with UEFI, does it. I mean, it's true whether you use UEFI or not. If anything, it brings back the question of "why only now?".

...

Gigabyte has a place on my list of favorite companies. So don't be surprised if I'm critic
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Old 06-03-2011, 08:41 AM   #8
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As long as its UEFI doesn't look like this...



...then I'll be happy....
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Old 06-03-2011, 08:57 AM   #9
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*looks at image*

*head 'splodes*
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Old 06-06-2011, 04:07 PM   #10
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Reading this review just in part made me flash back to my jet engine maintenance days in the Air Force when we used a program called Cams, I could use it very very well cause it was all text black and green. The problem was that it took many other people a very long time to use it, especially those who did not use text based os's or programs. They decided to give it a gui so every one could be more efficient, they decided to base this off [shudder] Java [/shudder] and it was like this A for effort F for execution we had to go back to the old text program to get our special requirements to work, just like you have to go back to the old bios for to change certain settings. I just don't think there is a reason that end users should be beta testers what so ever and this proves the point. I would just turn the thing off and move on with out it.
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Old 06-07-2011, 07:54 AM   #11
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If it ain't broke, don't fix it and if you do fix it, make sure you have the correct tools to do it.
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Old 06-07-2011, 02:14 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Optix View Post
If it ain't broke, don't fix it and if you do fix it, make sure you have the correct tools to do it.
In the Military their motto is "If ain't broke, fix it till it is."
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Old 06-07-2011, 07:20 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marfig View Post
Excellent material you have there rob! Thanks. Ever considered turning it into an article?
I have considered it, but to be honest there doesn't seem to be a great deal of interest (the traffic to this article backed that up). It might be that it's just a select few of us that are aggravated by the omission.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tharic-Nar View Post
As long as its UEFI doesn't look like this...
It might be that I actually did have a headache when I last used software like that, or the fact that it's actually headache-inducing. I'm not sure, but I feel a headache coming on looking at it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kayden View Post
In the Military their motto is "If ain't broke, fix it till it is."
LOL. Sounds like how I treat my PCs.
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