Motherboard firmware has come a long way. We used to be confined to text-only interfaces, keyboard input, and flashing via bootable floppy disks. Modern implementations are much better, offering graphical interfaces, mouse support, and integrated flashing utilities that can apply updates stored on USB drives. Now, ASRock has made the flashing process even easier. According to EXPreview, the motherboard maker’s latest UEFI firmware is capable of updating itself over the Internet.
Obviously, you’ll need a working network connection. The firmware reportedly supports DHCP and PPPoE setups. Users can also choose between four different firmware servers based on their geographic location. The whole process, which EXPreview lays out in a series of screenshots, looks pretty simple to me. Unfortunately, there’s no word on which ASRock motherboards will include this functionality. I’d expect any UEFI-equipped model to at least be compatible with the new feature, if not eligible for an eventual upgrade.
Last October, our roadmap for next-generation motherboard firmware called for the integration of Internet-based flashing utilities. Perhaps someone at ASRock was listening. Let’s hope that they’re also working on other items from our wishlist, like a file recovery tool for hosed Windows installations and a system stability test for overclockers—and that other motherboard makers have similar efforts underway.