What is BIOS and How Do You Update It?

One of the first things you’ll have to do after building a PC is mess around with the BIOS settings. If this is your first time building a PC, this will undoubtedly look very intimidating. Fortunately, BIOS isn’t too hard to understand once you realize what it is and what you’re supposed to do with it.

WHAT IS BIOS?

BIOS is an acronym for “Basic Input Output System” and is the specific software (AKA firmware) responsible for controlling the hardware inside your computer. BIOS is a part of every computer and starts up when you boot your PC and before loading up the operating system. BIOS is responsible for “waking up” your computer’s hardware components and ensures everything is functioning correctly.

There are also various settings located within BIOS which allow you to configure things like time zones, system temperatures, CPU speeds, and more. Booting into BIOS is also the first step to configuring a newly-built computer and the best way to confirm all components are functioning how they should be. You don’t necessarily have to tinker with BIOS settings if you purchased a pre-built PC, but it’s good to know where they are in case you ever want or need to change something – such as updating it!

Fun fact: BIOS has technically been replaced by UEFI (“visual BIOS”), but most people still call it BIOS, so we’re sticking with that for this blog post!

WHEN SHOULD YOU UPDATE BIOS?

BIOS has been around for a very long time – hence the reason it probably looks like an outdated piece of software to the untrained eye. However, BIOS has improved a lot over the years and is relatively simple to use. It might be intimidating at first, but tinkering with BIOS can sometimes be helpful because it can dramatically improve the performance of your computer with a few clicks.

Over time, motherboard manufacturers (like NZXT) will release BIOS updates that contain improvements. Generally, BIOS updates won’t add new features to your computer and usually fix a bug with an obscure piece of hardware or add support for a new model of CPU. Given that you probably won’t see improvements unless updating BIOS fixes bugs or supports specific hardware, you should only update BIOS when you need to.

Not sure if you need to update your BIOS? Don’t worry, NZXT will notify you about new BIOS updates for your N7 motherboard when it becomes available!

HOW DO YOU UPDATE BIOS?

Every motherboard is different, but updating the BIOS is generally the same regardless of the manufacturer. Sure, things might not look the same, but overall, the process will be the same irrespective of the brand. We’ll be walking you through an NZXT N7 motherboard BIOS update referencing our newest B550 model to keep things simple.

Here’s how to update your NZXT N7 B550 BIOS:

To find the latest download for the BIOS, head to our product page here:mceclip0.png

We recommend installing updates for your BIOS directly within Windows, so for this example, you would download the BIOS Version P1.30 (Windows) installer. Once you have downloaded the BIOS, right-click on the ZIP file and press “Extract All…” to extract the contents of the ZIP. Then click “Extract” on the next window that comes up:

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Once extracted, you should have a folder that looks something like this:

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Before moving forward with this install, close all applications running on your PC, if possible. This means closing any games, game boosters, recording software, voice chat software, and basically anything that is running on your PC that can be closed. Once everything is closed, double-click on the “ASROM” application. If you have UAC enabled, you will need to approve the prompt that pops up. Next, the installer will verify that you have closed all applications with you:

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Press OK once you have made sure that you have any other applications closed. Then the install process will begin. Once done, you will be prompted to restart your PC. Type in “Y” into the prompt and press enter to restart your system as shown below:

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After this your PC will restart, upon restarting, you will be greeted with a new screen as the BIOS install is finalized. Once completed, your PC may restart 3-5 times until it finally starts loading your operating system. Once you are back in the OS, you are fully updated and safe to fully shut down the PC when done using the system for your session.

HOW TO GET HELP WITH A BIOS UPDATE

NZXT is committed to serving our customers with the highest quality of service that we can provide. If you need help updating your N7 BIOS, don’t hesitate to contact our customer service team so we can help!