What happened to EFI

Discussion in 'Apple, Inc and Tech Industry' started by maflynn, Apr 26, 2010.

  1. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #1
    I mean, it was a technology co-developed by intel and microsoft, yet I see almost no motherboards using it. MS is all but quiet on this and even intel's own motherboards seem to use BIOS.

    Apple is the only one that's using it.

    I could be wrong but it looks like a failure.
     
  2. *LTD* macrumors G4

    *LTD*

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    #2
    Does it really matter? Macs use EFI and Apple's selling them in record numbers.

    Besides, the computer industry is undergoing a transition to web services and mobile hardware. What's the iPad using? That's what matters.

    But if we're going to stick to what remains of the "traditional" computer market, then the problem is that legacyware is widespread, almost exclusively on the Windows/PC side.

    32-bit architecture and hardly any support with PC manufacturers and vendors.

    EFI is available for everything from Linux, HP OpenVMS, to Apple Intel, to certain 64-bit editions of Windows.

    Unfortunately, due to the lack of support with PC manufacturers and vendors of 32-bit cpus and architectures, EFI support isn't available for 32-Bit processors. You won't see EFI become the standard until all of the new computers coming out (desktops, laptops, netbooks) are all 64-bit architecture (processors and motherboards). What's holding EFI back is not transitioning fully to 64-bit across the board and making a break with the past. The transition has slowly begun, however. It'll take some time.
     
  3. neiltc13 macrumors 68040

    neiltc13

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    #3
    Of course it matters - it matters if you are buying computers from Apple and it matters if you are buying computers elsewhere and hoping for it.

    The last part of your post is great - why can't you make more like these instead of dropping in the same tired old "Apple rocks!" crap every time?
     
  4. KeriJane macrumors 6502a

    KeriJane

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    #4
    Hello.

    I'm not sure, but I think that EFI is making slight inroads.

    I installed an ASUS board for someone with something called "Express Gate".

    Express Gate seems awfully EFI-ish with the ability to surf the net, browse pics and even skype without even booting into the OS. It worked great. Online in under 5 seconds from Power-On just as advertised.

    IF I ever get another PC it'll have one of those in it.

    I suspect that it is actually a form of EFI disguised as a BIOS.

    I also suspect EFI's progress is being deliberately impeded by OS vendors, specifically Microsoft, because if you can do simple tasks outside of Windows it won't be long before you don't need Windows period.

    Hooray for Progress,
    Have Fun,
    Keri
     
  5. Peace macrumors Core

    Peace

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    #5
    Why does it matter ? If you buy a Mac it has EFI. If you buy a PC it probably won't have it. I fail to see what the problem is .
     
  6. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

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    #6
    There is a reason EFI never took off and that is quite simple it does not really offer much over the BIOS.

    The extra stuff in EFI will hardly ever be used and is an area people should not mess around in unless they know what they are doing. The BIOS is the same way. EFI is making the interface a lot easier to navigate and screw stuff up. BIOS does its job and gives access to the basic stuff you need if you are messing with your computer before it starts to boot the OS.

    once the OS is booted who cares about the BIOS it will go completely untouch.
    Then you got the problem of the chicken and the egg. The Major OS out there windows did not support EFI because it was not a big standard at all when XP came out and goes unused. Hardware manufactures see no point to put it in since the major OS out there does not support it.

    Even after MS started supporting it you still have the fact that it offers very little over the BIOS so no one wants to change from the system that works very well for what it is designed to do.
     
  7. KeriJane macrumors 6502a

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    #7
    I find it odd that BIOS is still with us.

    It holds processor development back. Why?

    Because BIOS has to be run in 16-bit "Real" mode, taking us right back to the days of the mighty 286. (OK, maybe the 386) The processor has to be 1990-compatible in order to do this.

    XEON processors in Servers dropped BIOS capability years ago.

    EFI can easily be "dumbed down" to keep the User out of trouble. Probably even more so than BIOS. Look at Apple.... what can we do with our EFI? Nothing but a Boot Menu.
    Even the most extreme dumbed-down Dell or HP offers plenty more potentially troublesome settings than that. They would love to have just a boot menu too. Why don't they? Technically they could. The limitations of the BIOS system necessitates all those pesky options that people can screw up their system with.

    The only thing keeping BIOS around is Inertia.

    Have Fun,
    2¢ Keri
     
  8. maflynn thread starter Moderator

    maflynn

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    #8
    Who says I'm having a problem :rolleyes:

    Can't I ask a simple question? EFI came with great fanfare from both intel and MS and yet both are not pushing it. It was an answer to replace the aging and restricted BIOS. I would have thought that it would have been embraced faster then this is. Its not like apple is cutting edge, they're usually shy away from such moves and embrace safe tried and true.
     
  9. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

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    #9
    You have no idea how slow any company movies in embarrassing very tried and true technology.
    If you look at lets say oil refineries, hell even large part of the space run on Fortran. Fortran is no longer actively used for programing.

    now both have a GUI interface written in C but the base code is still the same. The reason behind the lack of a change is they know it works very well and to move it over to a more modern laungage would introduce errors because no one really has any idea how everything interacts. A lot of the people who programmed it way back win are either dead or no longer work for them. No one is willing to risk errors being introduced.

    It comes down to this. Anything very complex and intergul to running a system no one wants to risk messing with. The BIOS is very important to running a computer. It is very well tested and it works very well. EFI largely untested when compared to testing a BIOS has had to it.
     
  10. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

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    #10
    Intel-based Macs do not have BIOS, yet by most accounts they run Windows fairly well. Explain that.
     
  11. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

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    #11
    You complete missed the point.

    Just because EFI runs windows well it still does not change the fact that compared to a BIOS EFI is relatively untested.

    The BIOS has been widely use for well over 20 years now. It does its job very well. EFI has been in use very long and sure as hell not in wide use. On a major change like going from BIOS to EFI no one wants to risk running into unknowns. For the BIOS there are not any unknowns. In the EFI there is a lot of unknowns because it has not been used by those manufactures.
     
  12. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

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    #12
    I did not miss your point. I understand it completely and disagree with it just as completely. I most strongly disagree with your premise that BIOS works well. BIOS-based computers work, but that is a far cry from working well.
     
  13. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

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    #13
    Then tell me what does EFI offer that is SO much better than BIOS.
    The BIOS does a few basic things and from that point on the OS takes over after that point the EFI or BIOS goes relatively unused and the drivers in the OS take over. The drivers are what allow the OS to talk with the hardware. The BIOS does next to nothing.

    And you still missed the point about BIOS has been working for well over 20 years. EFI out in the wild so to speak has been what around for 4 years on a very small market share.

    Sorry 20+ years on 95%+ of the market should tell you something.
     
  14. maflynn thread starter Moderator

    maflynn

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    #14
    With all do respect, I'm not quite buying the untested hypothesis for EFI.

    If MS/intel really wanted EFI to replace BIOS, they both of the power to force hardware makers to use that. Heck windows vista was supposed be used with EFI but they pulled the code.

    I don't know why MS/Intel isn't pushing especially since they developed it.
     
  15. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

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    #15
    Do your own research. If you did, then perhaps you would not say silly things like this:
    The BIOS is so great because the BIOS is so limited? Sounds like something out of 1984.

    On your planet, it is not possible for someone who understands you to disagree with you. On Earth, we can understand you fully and disagree with you completely. We also have a statement that sums up the point well:

    If 60,000 Frenchmen say a foolish thing, then it is still a foolish thing.
     
  16. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

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    #16
    So that is your argument....

    I provided you with reason why the BIOS has not been replaced by EFI. I then ask the question what makes EFI so much better. You are the one pushing EFI.

    From your response I get this "Apple is doing it and because I attended the church of apple it is better" That is all that I get out of that based on that response and how you are always siding with apple no matter what. Normally giving off Apple is great stuff.

    So again answer my question why is it so much better. Everything I have read on EFI is yes it is better but not that much better than the BIOS. It does not seem to provide enough extra to push companies to take the risk and leave something that has nearly 30 years of wide spread use. 30 years vs 4 years and it is still actively used. That is a pretty long time for company to leave something and switch to something pretty new. I pointed out example of Fortran still in use today and they are not going to change it. Fortran coders will be in extremely high demand in 10-15 years and there will be very few left by that point, right now experience Fortran coders can demand huge pay due to the rarity of the skill. The BIOS is best compared to Fortran in why it is not being replaced.
     
  17. pooky macrumors 6502

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    #17
    Random tangent, but FORTRAN is still in active use, especially in science and engineering. Not as prevalent as it once was, but people still use it.
     
  18. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

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    #18
    true. And the reason for it is a lot of the system originally programed in it they do not want to translate over into a more modern language for legitimate fears of introducing errors. To make matter worse is most of the original programs of those systems have long since retired or even already are dead. The language does not have comments in it, and variable names are not descriptive. Those all add up to make it near impossible to convert over.
     
  19. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

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    #19
    Oh, nonsense. It's FORTRAN, not APL. FORTRAN programs are predominately designed to convert mathematical algorithms into human-readable computer code. FORTRAN is, for the most part, a user language. That is, the people who write FORTRAN programs are the people who run those same programs as part of their jobs. A competent programmer can convert even undocumented FORTRAN programs into other programming languages without a lot of trouble. The reason that so many FORTRAN programs have not been translated has absolutely nothing to do with the difficulty [of FORTRAN] and everything to do with the fact that alternatives to FORTRAN are not better than FORTRAN for numerical computation.
     

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