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UEFI or Legacy BIOS?

Quick question: I see on the UEFI Wikipedia page that the legacy partitioning method (Master Boot Record; MBR) limits partition size to ~2 TB. I was not aware of this.

As I prepare to purchase the components for my first build (a gaming PC), I'm now wondering if I should be limiting my mobo choices to those that have UEFI rather than the legacy BIOS. If I'm thinking of buying, say, a 3TB HDD, do I understand correctly that I'll need UEFI in order to be able to use its full capacity?
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  1. As far as I remember Legacy bios will not support BOOTING from hard drives that are over 2tb, but you should still be able to use them for storage perfectly fine. You will just have to partition and format them as GPT (GUID Partition Table) disks.

    But still a uefi bios is nice, even for other things... building a new computer? might as well go with new tech. Unless you just wanna get a generally better board but with legacy bios. Either option should be perfectly fine for you. ;)
  2. Oh, ok! I misunderstood, I guess. But if I were to forego a system SSD and just put everything on, say, a 3TB HDD, then I would need EUFI? Or would I just have to partition that 3GB drive so that the OS and system files were on a partition no larger than 2TB?
  3. Best answer
    No, as far as I know you would still have to partition that drive as a GPT disk. Windows required MBR to boot. So basically if you have a hard drive that's 2TB or less you can install windows on it. If you have a drive that's over 2TB you can't install windows on it but you can keep the drive as a media/data drive (which will be seen in windows, you just can't install windows/boot off of it)
  4. Best answer selected by SyntaxSocialist.
  5. thank you. I must clarify a little bit though... now that I remember better. A normal non-uefi bios will not let you boot off of gpt disk as well. UEFI bios will let you boot off of gpt. And as far as I know microsoft lets you boot windows off of a gpt disk now too. They included this in windows 8. If I'm not mistaken windows 7 and earlier will still not boot off of a gpt disk/partition.
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