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What Is the BIOS?

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This chapter is from the book

Why Optimize the BIOS?

Although the BIOS only functions from the time you press the Power On button until the operating system takes over, its effects last as long as the computer is operational. Whatever you set in the BIOS greatly determines your computing experience.

If the BIOS is not configured properly, you may be able to boot up the operating system and run it for a while. However, the system will become unstable and eventually crash. This will go on and on, ad nauseum.

You may send it back to your computer dealer and, more likely than not, the technician will simply reset the BIOS to its fail-safe settings and send it back to you. However, is that the best solution?

Most definitely not! An unoptimized BIOS means an unoptimized system. Not only will it take longer to boot up or initialize devices, it will also slow down the entire computer. It's like knee-capping someone before sending him out to do the long jump!

BIOS optimization is critical not only to the optimal performance of the computer, but also to the proper functioning of the system's components. Computers these days are made up of a hodge-podge of different components from different manufacturers. This presents a real problem when it comes to getting them all to work together.

Because of the variety of components that make up any one computer, it is impossible for manufacturers to optimize their motherboards for any particular configuration. That's why all motherboards come with configurable BIOS.

The BIOS allows the OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer), as well as the end-user, to modify settings and timings to support different configurations. Without them, manufact-urers would be forced to use the most conservative settings, which would greatly degrade performance.

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