Motherboards are a very important part of your build. Unlike with other parts where you look at the performance and then buy the fastest one, for motherboards you look at the feature set. You want to get a motherboard that has all the features you need like Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. But then you come across dual BIOS. So, what is dual BIOS motherboard?
Simply put, a dual BIOS motherboard is a motherboard that has a backup BIOS in addition to the main BIOS. This is great technology because it means that if something happens to the main BIOS due to a problem (usually from an update), you won’t brick your motherboard. Instead, you can simply use the backup BIOS to restart the main one or use it as your now primary BIOS.
But why don’t all motherboards have two BIOSes then? What is dual BIOS motherboard in more detail and is it worth it? You can learn the answer to these questions down below.
What Is Dual BIOS Motherboard?
Let’s start off by explaining what a BIOS even is. BIOS stands for “Basic Input/Output System“. It is a chip on your motherboard that contains all the software needed by your system when you turn it on. It makes your hardware execute some essential tasks before you boot into the operating system. It also takes care of the power management for your components like CPU and RAM.
If you ever tried overclocking then you should be somewhat familiar with how a BIOS functions. For example, you can change the frequency multiplier and voltage of your CPU to make it run faster. But overclocking poses certain risks. If you do not adjust the voltages and frequencies correctly, it could cause a problem with your BIOS. That’s when a backup BIOS can save the day.
So, what is dual BIOS motherboard? It is a motherboard that has two BIOS chips on it. There is always the main BIOS chip and a backup chip in case something happens to the main one. The backup chip contains the original BIOS intended for the motherboard and it should never be touched.
This is because updating your main BIOS is the most common way in which you can brick it. Updating a BIOS is always a bit risky and not really recommended if you do not know what you are doing and do not have any compatibility issues with other hardware. Pretty much all BIOS updates focus on better CPU, RAM, or SSD compatibility anyway.
So, if dual BIOS is such a nice thing to have, why don’t all motherboards come with it? There are a few reasons. First of all, it adds unnecessary cost to the final product because BIOS chips typically cost between $2-$10. It may not be much to you, but it does add up for the manufacturer. It also takes additional planning when designing the motherboard to implement.
But perhaps the most important reason is that very few people even use or need two BIOSes. Most people do not even update their BIOS or they do not overclock their system. And even if you do overclock and the BIOS does not revert to its previous settings, you can always take out the CMOS battery for half a minute and the BIOS will be reset.
This makes dual BIOS motherboards not that common and the feature is typically reserved for the high-end. That is where most of the overclocking and overall tinkering are done.
So, if you are in the market for a new motherboard, do you need two BIOSes? If you plan to overclock and update your BIOS regularly or if you are not paying extra for the feature, then the answer is yes. But if you have to pay a lot more money for it, you can pretty much ignore it.
A dual BIOS motherboard is a motherboard that has two BIOS chips – the main chip that is always in use and a backup chip in case something happens to the main one. The feature is more of a nice-to-have than a must-have for most people. But if you like tinkering and overclocking, then it can save you from bricking your motherboard or having to replace the BIOS chip.