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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  • Menty - Friday, November 4, 2011 - link

    But will Gigabyte finally be offering genuinely useful BIOS-based fan control? You know, like a lot of their competitors have for years? I can understand that easier is better, but build in the fundamentals first guys, then gussy it up.
  • royalcrown - Saturday, November 5, 2011 - link

    1. They dont know what the slots do, or what goes in them.

    2. They dont know what the settings do even if they know what plugs in.

    3. They don't buy GIGABYTE, ASUS, etc...

    ....That makes the "3D" part a waste of resources
  • B3an - Sunday, November 6, 2011 - link

    ....Err do you REALLY think the average consumer will be buying these boards?? Stupid much?

    This is a X79 board, Einstein. You know what type of people these boards are aimed at? Enthusiasts and overclockers. I think they're going to know what parts do what.
  • brucek2 - Sunday, November 6, 2011 - link

    If you believe they're going to know what parts do what, wouldn't you also have to believe they know how to use the traditional BIOS menu? The one with a ton more maturity, less complexity, less resource requirement, and less room to pointlessly vary setting location across different vendors?
  • Iketh - Monday, November 7, 2011 - link

    The enthusiast population is not stagnant. Before you were an enthusiast, it goes without saying that you were not an enthusiast. This feature, at the least, will cater to those that want to become enthusiasts.

    You are not the only human on the planet. The world does not revolve around you. etc etc etc etc cliche cliche etc etc
  • poohbear - Monday, November 7, 2011 - link

    huh? so because we're enthusiasts we should be stuck with a hideous & cluttery BIOS screen that's all 6 bit text? No thank you! i've been an enthusiast for 14 years, but this UEFI bios is long overdue! I dont miss the DOS days, Windows cleared up everything and made it much easier to navigate around and get straight to what i want! i expect the same to happen with BIOS screens! why should i be stuck w/ 6bit text like back in the EVGA days??? its 2011 and i have a 5870 graphics card and hexa -core cpu, but my bios looks like its from 1985. Get with the times!!!
  • Th-z - Saturday, November 5, 2011 - link

    UEFI is intended to replace aging BIOS, is it not? The "F" in UEFI means firmware, in all other devices, firmware is conceptually equal to traditional BIOS in non-Mac PC. If so, logically people shouldn't call it "UEFI BIOS", it's either BIOS or UEFI. If it's UEFI, the title should just be "3D interface for X79 UEFI".
  • Vinny DePaul - Saturday, November 5, 2011 - link

    should be done llong time ago
  • brucek2 - Saturday, November 5, 2011 - link

    Lots of pixels depicting computer components are not going to simplify the fundamental complexity of BIOS configuration, which comes down to understanding what the parts of the computer are, how they can be configured, and why you'd use one setting vs. another. Putting up a huge detail picture of a CPU is not going to help someone find the best clock and voltage setting for it.

    When you need to be in these settings at all, what you want the minimal amount of graphical obfuscation, application complexity, and vendor-level variance in coming up with new ways and places to tuck away the setting you need. Sometimes less really is more and I'd argue that text menus for BIOS settings are a prime example.

    And if next year we're reading that someone has gone even further with a true 3D app that looks great but only requires you to be wearing certain specifically compatible 3D glasses and have a working IR emitter to sync those glasses -- well then we'll know they've really lost their perspective.
  • mayaw - Saturday, November 5, 2011 - link

    It's ashame that I have had too many of their motherboards die on me in the past. Even though they did repair and replace them. I did get them back they than went into the garbage can again so I wont ever suggest or purchase another one again.

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