Switching from BIOS to UEFI
For the past few generations of OSX on generic Intel hardware there has been a choice between using a DSDT matched to your motherboard and BIOS, or a selection of additional files to provide full hardware support. My own machines have used the DSDT approach, where a well edited DSDT file provided the best compatibility and smoothest experience. Many of these DSDT files are available with all the hard work done for you at tonymacx86, whose selection of files cover seven motherboard manufacturers including my favourite Gigabyte.
Earlier this year there was much excitement at Gigabyte’s release of the Z77 motherboards which used a new UEFI rather than the traditional BIOS. The biggest surprise here was that Gigabyte boards with the new UEFI did not need a DSDT file for all hardware to work, simplifying the job of getting a hackintosh running well. My own board, a GA-Z68XP-UD3 had a beta UEFI available, soon followed by release U1g. I followed a couple of great guides at TonyMacX86 for upgrading my motherboard from BIOS to UEFI, then configuring the UEFI settings (this is for 7 series motherboards but worked well for me).
The biggest problem I had with the upgrade was making a DOS bootable USB flash drive, as the instructions in the article would not work on my system. I eventually used a Windows 7 PC to make the flash drive, followed by the other steps of the upgrade which proceeded smoothly. Before shutting down for the upgrade the DSDT file was moved from /Extra to the desktop, and after the upgrade the system booted to the desktop with no issues. Everything has worked fine for the two months since the upgrade, including sleep which has proved to be a recurring issue with previous OS upgrades.
The UEFI interface is much better looking than the old BIOS screen (a sample of an old BIOS is shown below), but I have found it to be a bit slower in use. Quickest navigation is by mouse, but my system is not always responsive to mouse clicks. This isn’t a major issue as I spend very little time in the UEFI, and the other benefits are huge. Big thanks to Gigabyte for upgrading a previous generation motherboard for free and to everyone at TonyMacX86 for the great articles and support.