Starting with Windows 8, Windows began to support UEFI and GPT boot for gaming machines. Larger capacity hard disks can be booted with a UEFI based machine. The video card however also needs to support the graphics output protocol (GOP) so that the UEFI can achieve the native resolution or at least 1024×768 resolution for the Windows installer. Instead of a table of video modes, the GOP is simply a buffer. Modern video cards have so much memory on them, this has made sense for a long time.
UEFI first appeared when Intel introduced the Itanium CPU. Because it was not backwards compatible, the AMD64 extension became the popular choice. UEFI has been around for more than a decade.
We have inquired with other many vendors. This means that when shopping for video cards, we will be compelled to use GPU-Z to determine of the card can be used with the machine. Cards that will not boot will have to be checked with another machine to determine of there is UEFI support.
The GPU-Z screen shot shows that the GTX 660 Ti now bears UEFI support. This shows that a card is suitable for UEFI boot. We should mention that UEFI boot will want the hard disk partitioned as GPT even if the capacity is 2TB or less. We installed an available 3TB hard disk which is the main motivation for GPT and UEFI. More recently Seagate has introduced a new 6TB hard disk for desktop users.
The VBIOS is actually a hybrid, which means the card can work with a legacy operating system or with UEFI equally well. This is the best idea as the GOP was designed to be able to coexist with the old VESA tables. We expect to see more endors ship video cards with UEFI support now that Windows 10 has reached 100 million users.
Windows 8 was rejected in the market place primarily as it was 12 months to early. Once it got patched up over the following 18 months the problems disappeared and it slowly gained market share.
Our Asus M5A99FX PRO R2.0 features a UEFI BIOS. Our MSI 970A-G43 also features a UEFI BIOS. Windows 8 and above will not work with UEFI unless the video card has UEFI support. Unlike desktop versions of Windows, Windows Server does not have any such requirement for UEFI video card support.
We have the EVGA GTX 660 Ti FTW Signature 2 which is a enthusiast class gaming card. We inquired with EVGA who requested the serial number or model number and they immediately provided us with a VBIOS upgrade. Older cards do not have a large enough firmware flash memory block for the UEFI support so those with older cards will need replacements. EVGA now ships UEFI capable video cards with their GTX 700 line and above.
We have inquired with Asus who told us that our Asus EAH5450 512MB does not have an available UEFI VBIOS available. We have inquired to determine which models of cards are GOP capable.
Asus has gimmicked their UEFI for the HD 7870 so this means we cannot upgrade the card as we do not have a functional board within their whitelist.
We have inquired with Sapphire but are not yet aware of an available UEFI VBIOS for the HD 6970.