We are getting closer to the launch of Sandy Bridge E and Intel's motherboard partners are eager to get out some early press about their motherboards. We saw a lot of what to expect from SNB-E motherboards at IDF, but most of the manufacturers have been holding back a bit of information on how they plan to differentiate in this ultra-competitive industry.

With Sandy Bridge we saw some of the first boards to sport UEFI instead of a traditional BIOS interface. With Sandy Bridge E, expect to see many motherboard manufacturers use their UEFI implementations as one avenue to stand out from the crowd.

Gigabyte is trying something a bit new with its X79 UEFI: a simplified "3D" UI. Instead of navigating through lists and sublists of options, Gigabyte's new 3D BIOS interface gives you a picture of your motherboard with a few predefined, highlightable sections. You can hover over and click on the SATA ports for example to bring up a list of SATA related configuration options. The same applies for rear IO, memory, PCIe, voltage regulators and naturally the CPU socket.

The advanced mode will still remain, Gigabyte is simply using 3D BIOS to make configuring your motherboard easier for those users who are less comfortable with the process. Check out the gallery below for more screenshots and the video above to see Gigabyte's 3D BIOS in action.

We'll have our full review of Sandy Bridge E and the X79 platform later this month.

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  • Guspaz - Friday, November 4, 2011 - link

    We're starting to see the first results of what UEFI enables, and board manufacturers are finally starting to experiment with the bounds of what they can do with a UEFI interface. The first UEFI interfaces were largely entrancement of the traditional BIOS interface, and now we're starting to see them get creative.

    I look forward to seeing what board makers can do with UEFI, not just in terms of the interface, but what other features they can build around it.
  • gevorg - Friday, November 4, 2011 - link

    Will the new Gigabyte BIOS still have no adjustments for case fan?
  • CharonPDX - Friday, November 4, 2011 - link

    Just because it's graphical doesn't mean it has to be UEFI, I had graphical conventional BIOS systems back in the mid '90s.

    And just because it's UEFI doesn't mean it has to be graphical. Intel has been using a UEFI-based configuration interface for years now on their desktop boards, it's just plain text and looks a lot like conventional BIOS.
  • mfenn - Friday, November 4, 2011 - link

    You mean UEFI != Graphical BIOS?
  • CharonPDX - Friday, November 4, 2011 - link

    D-oh! Yes.
  • B3an - Friday, November 4, 2011 - link

    Anyone know if Ivy Bridge CPU's will later have a variant that works on X79 boards? Otherwise this will have no upgrade path. It's already taken forever to get this platform out. It used to be the high end came out first, not WAY later. And Ivy Bridge isn't that far off for the mainstream now... so will Intel later support the high end/X79 with IB or be massive c***s as usual and make it so that we have to buy another new board for that?
  • Ytterbium - Friday, November 4, 2011 - link

    No it won't because Ivy Bridge will be replacement for the current i3,5,7 Sandybridge chips. That said there should be an Ivy Bridge-E ala X78 is for Sandybridge-E but as you say it will be way later.
  • B3an - Friday, November 4, 2011 - link

    Yeah thats what i mean, some sort of Ivy Bridge-E version of the chip for X79. Is there any news or conformation on this? Because i've seen nothing about it and dont really want to buy a dead end platform.
  • OoklaTheMok - Friday, November 4, 2011 - link

    So how is this supposed to make using the BIOS more intuitive? For those who are not intimately knowledgable about motherboard layout, this actually makes the BIOS even more difficult to use. I wouldn't even expect my recently adult children to have a clue about clicking on the SATA ports, let alone being able to identify them.

    And for those who are more BIOS knowledgable, this doesn't seem to make it any easier to make changes to the BIOS as you would have to "go through" the 3D interface to get to the actual settings, when going directly to the Advanced Mode would likely be faster in that case.

    If Gigabyte wanted to make it more intuitive, they would have created a task based interface for the common actions that a less seasoned user would need to do.

    But I get it... This is just a gimmick by Gigabyte to differentiate themselves but without providing any real benefit or improvement.
  • Nihility - Saturday, November 5, 2011 - link

    Gigabyte is redefining computer interfaces!

    For instance, a 2D picture is now called 3D!!!


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