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Differences Between UEFI and Legacy Modes for POS Hardware Terminals

January 8, 2024

UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) and legacy modes are distinct firmware modes utilized in the boot process of computers or POS hardware terminals. Below are key distinctions between UEFI mode and legacy mode:

Firmware Interface:
UEFI Mode: Utilizes the UEFI firmware interface, offering a modern and feature-rich alternative to the traditional BIOS.
Legacy Mode: Relies on the conventional BIOS firmware interface.

Boot Process:
UEFI Mode: Involves accessing and executing boot loaders on the EFI system partition (ESP), utilizing the GUID Partition Table (GPT) partitioning scheme.
Legacy Mode: Relies on the Master Boot Record (MBR) partitioning scheme and boot loaders stored in the disk’s boot sector.

Disk Partitioning:
UEFI Mode: Supports the GPT partitioning scheme, enabling larger disk sizes, more partitions, and better compatibility with modern storage devices.
Legacy Mode: Uses the MBR partitioning scheme, limiting disk size and partition count.

Secure Boot:
UEFI Mode: Introduces Secure Boot, ensuring only digitally signed and trusted boot loaders and operating systems run during boot, enhancing security.
Legacy Mode: Lacks the Secure Boot security feature.

Hardware Support:
UEFI Mode: Provides superior support for newer hardware technologies, including USB 3.0, NVMe SSDs, and advanced graphics cards.
Legacy Mode: Compatible with older hardware but may lack support for newer technologies.

User Interface:
UEFI Mode: Often includes a graphical user interface (GUI) for user-friendly interaction with firmware settings.
Legacy Mode: Typically employs a text-based interface with limited options.

UEFI Mode: Backward compatible with legacy BIOS through the Compatibility Support Module (CSM), allowing UEFI systems to run legacy BIOS-compatible operating systems and boot loaders.
Legacy Mode: Standard for older hardware; may require compatibility settings or updates for UEFI.

UEFI mode offers a modern interface with advanced features, improved hardware support, enhanced security, and user-friendly options compared to legacy mode.

Especially in recent years, J4125, J6412, and the 10th, 11th and 12th generations of Core have been used in POS hardware terminals. For new platforms, we mostly use UEFI mode. So far, most of our clients prefer UEFI mode, we also can support if the client who would like to use Legacy mode.


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