The benefits of updating your PC’s BIOS are often underestimated. After all, the process of updating it is pretty scary: if something goes wrong, your PC can become a paperweight. That, in addition to the perceived lack of notable benefits, means many people don’t actively do this unless they really need to.
In reality, frequent BIOS updates are issued for a reason. Here are some of the top reasons why you should let go of your fears and finally pull the trigger on that BIOS update you’ve been putting off for so long.
1. Additional Hardware Support
One of the main reasons people update their BIOS is simple: with a BIOS update, you can use hardware that you couldn’t use before.
The most common example of this is CPUs. While new CPUs are launched every one or two years, CPU sockets tend to last longer. And while the socket may be the same, you can’t take an old motherboard and put a newer CPU on it and expect it to work out of the box. Instead, motherboards are made backwards compatible with those chips by releasing a BIOS update for them.
BIOS updates allowed AMD Ryzen AM4 motherboards purchased in 2017 to enjoy several generations of new AMD CPUs, making it possible to upgrade from a first-generation Ryzen CPU to a high-performance 5000-series Ryzen without change the motherboard or most hardware. . Intel is a little more likely to switch sockets, as usual every two years, but if you have a 12th Gen Intel CPU and want to upgrade your PC to a 13th Gen, you can still do so with a BIOS update. Of course, there are features that these chips support that these motherboards don’t have, such as PCI Express Gen 4 support, but the chip will work with your PC, which is what you want.
BIOS updates may also add support for other hardware upgrades, such as RAM. Basically, if a newer part, whatever it is, fits and installs on your computer but doesn’t work properly, there’s a very real chance (depending on the motherboard manufacturer, of course) that there’s a BIOS update that fixes this. can fix it.
2. Security Updates
Then we have security updates. The mention of the words “security” and “patch” in a software update causes some people to immediately snooze, and we can understand why. But the importance of securing your PC in this day and age cannot be underestimated.
Of course, we don’t interact much with our BIOS unless it’s absolutely necessary. And the operating system your PC is running on, be it Windows 11 or something else, is updated regularly. But just as it is important to keep your operating system safe, you must also keep the underlying information safe. A secure operating system should keep all potential threats away, and it often does, but if something malicious finds its way into your motherboard, it can go haywire pretty quickly. BIOS manipulations and boot sector viruses also exist, and they can do a lot of damage to your PC.
When a BIOS security update is released, there is often a reason. A vulnerability is found and the update fixes that vulnerability. An example of this was a BIOS update for hundreds of Lenovo laptops, which fixed a handful of vulnerabilities that an attacker could exploit to read SMM memory or execute arbitrary code. Of course, most security updates are minor and unlikely to affect you. But it’s never a bad idea to double up on your PC’s security.
3. Stability Improvements
Finally, this is a minor reason, but it’s still important, as it can be a nuisance at times depending on the system.
Bugs and other issues are often found and resolved at the BIOS level on motherboards. Of course, we don’t interact much with our BIOS, but it’s not like you’ll notice it there if you do. Instead, BIOS issues can manifest themselves in other ways.
First, they can show up as system/app bugs, slowdowns, non-functioning peripherals/hardware components or even blue screens of death/kernel panic on your operating system. If you’ve noticed an annoying problem with your PC that persists through several updates (even though you’ve reported it hundreds of times) and it’s still not resolved, you may need to check if it’s a problem in the BIOS level, and if there are is an update that fixes that problem.
Do you need to update your BIOS?
If there is an update available for your BIOS and you can now reliably do so, then definitely go ahead. We highly recommend it – it will help you strengthen your system and make it work better everywhere. Most people think their experience isn’t affected by BIOS updates, but at some point in the future things can go wrong, and you’re going to have to do it anyway. Something might break, or you might run into an annoying problem. So why not just do it now? You may even find that your PC has a handy BIOS quick flash button.
Keep in mind the “something you can do reliably now” section. BIOS updates are time consuming and nerve-wracking, with tense minutes where you can’t touch your PC. If your PC shuts down, the game may be over. If your motherboard does not have a BIOS flashback option, there is no way to bring it back from the dead.
So when you update your BIOS, take a moment and keep a constant eye on it.
BIOS updates are more important than you think
The BIOS often goes untouched on most people’s PCs for years, but it really shouldn’t. Keep in mind that while our arguments above are true, it’s still good practice to update it whenever an update is available, even if nothing affects you at the moment.
Don’t wait for it to get boring!