MSI doesn’t disclose much in the way of details about their BIOS implementation on a technical level. What I can tell you is that it uses an American Megatrends Inc. UEFI BIOS. It also supports a BIOS flashback type feature so that you can reflash a BIOS in the event the system can’t boot with a specific CPU installed or if there is a problem during a routine flash update.
I’m going to keep it quick and simple for the sake of brevity. The fact is, the MSI UEFI BIOS implementation is the same as it always has been. That is to say, the interface hasn’t changed in more than a year. The last thing that MSI did was add an EZ-Mode and some features that were copied from ASUS and GIGABYTE. Things like showing you what changes were made when you exit the BIOS are an example of this.
First and foremost, MSI has two user modes. The EZ-Mode and the Advanced Mode. This is the same as all of MSI’s major competitors. MSI’s EZ-Mode is easily the best one in the industry. It not only provides the information in an easy and concise way, but it manages to avoid overwhelming the user all at once. The menu in this mode is extremely intuitive and even looks good. I wish MSI could actually base their UEFI on this interface entirely. It would not only update it but set themselves apart with something a little less clunky than the existing Click BIOS. MSI may also have a bit more functionality in this menu than some alternatives do. I think ASUS’ is as functional, but it isn’t as nice to work with.
The advanced mode provides a fairly solid experience with reasonably good navigation. However, the experience isn’t always consistent. That is, methods for adjusting one variable or setting may not be the same as the next. You can hit enter on some of them and choose from a list of options. You can’t generally directly enter values either. Navigation tends to require plus or minus keys to increment the values one way or the other. MSI does have a good help system with information on the right, which makes it easy to figure out what settings are for and how to use them.
While easy enough to navigate, MSI does some things which boggle my mind. If you use Legacy+UEFI mode for the boot settings, you end up with a boot device order that’s 13 devices long. This is ridiculous and even annoying. This gets cut down to five if you use UEFI only. The next thing that bothers me is the enormous navigation tiles. I simply see no point in wasting so much screen real estate. Lastly, my biggest complaint is the excessive amount of unnecessary submenus that MSI employs. You will have to navigate two or three submenus just to reach one or two settings that would have been perfectly at home in a higher menu.
All that said, the UEFI BIOS is solid in that it’s easy enough to use and displays most of the information effectively.