Native NVRAM Available?

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Nov 17, 2009
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If you don't know what NVRAM is, according to Wikipedia:

Non-volatile random-access memory (NVRAM) is random-access memory that retains its information when power is turned off (non-volatile). This is in contrast to dynamic random-access memory (DRAM) and static random-access memory (SRAM), which both maintain data only for as long as power is applied.

NVRAM is either supported natively or not by the motherboard. Two uses of NVRAM are for saving values after reboot related to iMessage, and for the NVIDIA Web Driver Manager preference pane and menubar to make the switch to NVIDIA Drivers.

Just did some testing with this Terminal test:

NVRAM Testing: You can test if your NVRAM is working by running the following Terminal command and rebooting: sudo nvram TestVar=HelloWorld; once you reboot, run sudo nvram -p | grep 'TestVar'; if you see a result, your NVRAM is working; if not, your NVRAM is broken and needs to be fixed, or otherwise iMessage won't work; after testing, you can delete the TestVar variable by running sudo nvram -d TestVar

Turns out my Z87X-UD7-TH motherboard supports native NVRAM, and the new Z170X-UD5-TH does not. Can anyone else run this test and post back?

EDIT 2017-03-26
We're planning on putting a new 3rd choice in MultiBeast under Bootloaders > UEFI Boot Mode + Emulated NVRAM which will install EmuVariableUefi-64.efi and Clover RC Scripts in addition to Clover for boards with Non-Native NVRAM. If we could I'd like to document the best we can which boards support Native NVRAM and which boards need Emulated NVRAM. This post will be updated.

Test results below:

Motherboards Supporting Native NVRAM:
Supports NVRAM without installing RC scripts or EmuVariableUefi-64.efi

Gigabyte 5,6,7,8,9 Series
ASRock 8 Series
MSI 9 Series
ASUS 8 Series
ASUS 100 Series (early BIOSes)
Intel 6 Series

Motherboards Requiring Emulated NVRAM:
Requires Emulated NVRAM by installing RC scripts and EmuVariableUefi-64.efi

Gigabyte 100 Series
ASUS 100 Series (later BIOSes)
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It is not really enough information as a valid way to check for "native NVRAM". As to whether you're using native UEFI support for NVRAM depends on which drivers you have loaded in drivers64UEFI.

If you have EmuVariableUefi-64.efi installed, then you're using non-native NVRAM.
Lack of EmuVariable allows using native UEFI services for UEFI.

A common mistake people make which breaks NVRAM completely is to use EmuVariable, but forget to install "RC scripts to boot volume". In that case, NVRAM is emulated, but never saved to disk for later restoration after restart.

One advantage of native NVRAM is that it doesn't require a clean shutdown in order to be saved. This enables crash reports upon restart after KP.
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Can anyone else run this test and post back?

My MSI Z97 Gaming 7 motherboard supports native nvram:

Screen Shot 2016-05-15 at 19.09.14.png

Z170 Deluxe also supports native nvram :

Screen Shot 2016-05-15 at 19.15.12.png
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MSI Z97 Gaming 9 AC supports NVRAM without installing RC scripts or EmuVariableUefi-64.efi
Z170 Deluxe also supports native nvram :

Here is a blast from the past. Just updated my Asus Z170 Deluxe BIOS to 3007 from 1801 and there is no longer native NVRAM.
Tested the TestVar=HelloWorld and it returned nothing. I only noticed since macOS is defaulting to OS X drivers.
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