MSI has announced one of its Intel P45-based motherboards will get a free upgrade to EFI in July. EFI is the successor of the BIOS, this new software interface will make it easier for motherboard makers to create user friendly interfaces with a lot more features than the good old BIOS.
When you buy an MSI P45 board (it wasn’t stated which yet), MSI has said that it will deliver a free upgrade to EFI in and around the July timeframe. The company's representatives stressed to us that you can choose whether to go back or forth if you like it or prefer the standard legacy BIOS – it won’t be a permanent switch.
One thing we had serious reservations about was the supposed “Vista x64 SP1” limitation – what happens on EFI-based board when you install or use an OS that isn’t Windows Vista x64 SP1? Do you need to streamline SP1 into a Vista x64 DVD or revert the BIOS every time?
Fortunately, no! You can use EFI and install any operating system you want, however you can’t use any in-Windows tools to see the BIOS options (including stuff like CPU-Z, temperature monitoring or clock-gen tools) if you don’t use Windows Vista x64 SP1. You can still use and overclock that board via the new EFI BIOS though if you want to stick to XP.