BIOS, what is it and what is it used for?

Technology Oct 27, 2019

BIOS is the acronym for Binary Input Output System and is found on all PCs. Its importance is such that without this component, you couldn't even turn on the computer.

What is it physically, and where is the BIOS located?

This element is part of the chipset and is therefore located on the motherboard. Physically the BIOS is nothing more than a small chip that is activated when you press the power button if you want to know its exact location, consult the manual of your board.

The term BIOS is used both to refer to the program and to designate the physical component.

What is the function of BIOS?

It has several functions. The main one is to start the PC. When it turns on, it performs the RAM test and checks that devices, such as hard disks, are connected.

In this process, it is in charge of configuring them and offering them to the operating system. If the BIOS is unable to detect a particular device, the system will not be able to use it, here you can see the importance of this element. The BIOS, therefore, becomes responsible for providing the layer closest to the hardware.

A few years ago, when devices were slower. The BIOS performed the input and output operations, hence its name. In other words, it carried the data from the devices to the processor. This has changed, and now other faster systems are used as DMA accesses in which the processor maps the memory of the cards skipping the BIOS and accessing the data directly.

The information needed to carry out its function is stored in a memory, which is known as CMOS, which is another chip that is on the board. In order not to lose their data, the system uses a battery as a power source, and when this is consumed, the equipment loses its configuration and the time that has to be reconfigured once the battery is changed.

Should I update the BIOS?

Updating the operating system, for example, is something you should do periodically. However, the BIOS is a different element, and you will only have to do it, even though each time it is a more straightforward procedure when it is strictly necessary.

For example, one reason to update a BIOS is that the motherboard can work with processors that did not exist at the time of its release. Performance improvements or compatibility with older devices are also sometimes made. BIOS updates are quite frequent, but don't jump in if you're not clear enough about how to do it. If at the time you are updating the BIOS, you suffer a power outage, you may end up having problems.

Advanced BIOS features

It's common to see computers move from BIOSes with text menus to new ones with integrated graphics and even games. Another area in which progress has been made is the ease with which they can be updated. We have gone from an almost handmade method in which at any time we could make a mistake and keep a useless motherboard to one that can be updated by having a backup copy that you can use in case something doesn't work.

Another of these advanced features is that the BIOS can be used to overclock both RAM and processor.

Future BIOS features

One of the things that PCs have failed since the beginning is the delay in booting. One of the elements that can accelerate this aspect is the BIOS, without a doubt. It

Also, never rule out being able to perform more complex tasks without starting the computer. After all, the BIOS is nothing more than a little program that, if changed, can perform any function.

Tony

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