Solved Why do new motherboards have TPM headers?

alkaufmann

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I am looking to upgrade my system for Windows 11 and I don't why the ASUS motherboards I am looking at all have TPM headers for TPM modules that are purchased separately. Then if you search for these TPM modules, you can't find them anywhere. I downloaded the manuals for these motherboards to check out if the bios handles TPM and guess what, the manufacturer has really gotten cheap and the manual has almost no information on the bios.

The main question I would like answered, if a TPM module is not required for Windows 11, why is there a TPM header on the motherboard?

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Ak
 

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BunnyJ

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Hi.. what motherboard are you looking to get,, model. That should help us addresses your issues.

Second.. most, if not all, motherboards since 2015 have TPM 2.0 built into the BIOS so a separate chip isn't need.
 

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unifex

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Asus does sell TPM modules



At the same time, many motherboards (including mine, ASUS Rog Strix Z490-A Gaming) have TPM (in the guise of PTT) inbuilt and do not require the additional module.

Which motherboards are you looking at?
 

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alkaufmann

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I am looking at the Asus ROG Strix Z590-E Gaming Wifi and the ROG Maximus XIII Hero. Just tried to download a manual again and that page is not available, maybe they are updating their manual to include the bios.

If you do not need a TPM-SPI module if it can be handled by the bios and cpu, why is there this TPM header on the motherboard? There has to be some advantage for it or they would save the money and not put that header on the motherboard.

Asus website does show this TPM-SPI module on their website, but have you tried to buy one? Either it is out of stock or you can find it on Ebay for a ridiculous price.

1625675923455.png
I have been very happy with my Maximus VI Hero, maybe I now need to look beyond ASUS.

Ak
 

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Devlin1888

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If you have the header you dont need the module, My mobo has a tpm header at 1.2 which allows the use of firmware tpm to be upgraded to TPM 2.0. Thus i am running TMP 2.0 with a TMP 1.2 header. No module needed
 

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Here's an image of the supported motherboards and the Z590 supports TPM 2.0
Screenshot 2021-07-07 131405.png
 

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OldMike65

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I am looking at the Asus ROG Strix Z590-E Gaming Wifi and the ROG Maximus XIII Hero. Just tried to download a manual again and that page is not available, maybe they are updating their manual to include the bios.

If you do not need a TPM-SPI module if it can be handled by the bios and cpu, why is there this TPM header on the motherboard? There has to be some advantage for it or they would save the money and not put that header on the motherboard.

Asus website does show this TPM-SPI module on their website, but have you tried to buy one? Either it is out of stock or you can find it on Ebay for a ridiculous price.

View attachment 2219
I have been very happy with my Maximus VI Hero, maybe I now need to look beyond ASUS.

Ak
The actually chip is only really needed if you want to turn on Bitlocker for drive encryption .....which I don't have any need for it myself.
You don't need this chip to install Windows 11 ...just need it turned on in bios
 

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bobkn

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The actually chip is only really needed if you want to turn on Bitlocker for drive encryption .....which I don't have any need for it myself.
You don't need this chip to install Windows 11 ...just need it turned on in bios
I've never used Bitlocker, but I believe that firmware TPM (Intel PTT, AMF fTPM) supports it.

One problem with using Bitlocker with a firmware TPM is that if something happens to make the motherboard unusable, the encrypted data are lost. Clearing the firmware TPM also seems likely to lose the data.

If you use a physical module, I presume that you could switch it to a new motherboard and preserve the encrypted data. One potential complication is that the new motherboard would have to use the same type of module. There are at least two types (14-1 and 20-1). I don't know whether that's a real issue.
 

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alkaufmann

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I have used Bitlocker on my Maximus VI Hero motherboard with an I7-4770K CPU running Windows 10 Pro to encrypt a drive but never drive C:, don't want to risk accidentally losing that drive.

I am starting to look at the TPM header as being required when a CPU does not have it built in, similar to graphics. The difference seems to be that the TPM headers & modules have no standard and you will need to get the module from the motherboard manufacturer.

Ak
 

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bobkn

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(snip)

I am starting to look at the TPM header as being required when a CPU does not have it built in, similar to graphics. The difference seems to be that the TPM headers & modules have no standard and you will need to get the module from the motherboard manufacturer.

Ak
Is the firmware TPM a function of the CPU or the motherboard's chipset? (Not a rhetorical question.) Is the "firmware" the same as the EEPROM used for the BIOS?
 

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geneo

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I've never used Bitlocker, but I believe that firmware TPM (Intel PTT, AMF fTPM) supports it.

One problem with using Bitlocker with a firmware TPM is that if something happens to make the motherboard unusable, the encrypted data are lost. Clearing the firmware TPM also seems likely to lose the data.

If you use a physical module, I presume that you could switch it to a new motherboard and preserve the encrypted data. One potential complication is that the new motherboard would have to use the same type of module. There are at least two types (14-1 and 20-1). I don't know whether that's a real issue.
The firmware tpm indeed provides all TPM functions so bitlocker works for it.

As for the the data being lost if the motherboard craps out, you just have to prepare for that. You can create a recovery key that allows your to decrypt bitlocker encrypted files on a windows system.

For physical models, it must have true NVRAM - it can't be battery powered NVRAM (like your computer CMOS) or all is lost. But you can create a recovery key for this as well.

If you create a recovery key, which is encrypted by password, you can store that on a secure usb jump drive.
 

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unifex

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I am not sure TPM is necessary for Bitlocker. I used Bitlocker a while ago, definitely before TPM appeared. I encrypted a USB drive and had to enter a password to unlock it. I could do it on any Windows machine. I'm quite certain most of them did not have TPM enabled. In fact, I have just recently enabled it on my main machine here because I wanted to try out Windows 11 and I read that TPM was required.
 

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geneo

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You are correct, Bitlocker is for disk device encryption and requires a TPM. What I said on "bitlocker encrypted files" should have been "EFS encryted files". You can have EFS encryption of files and folders in Pro and Enterprise editions. With Bitlocker you also create a recovery key when you encrypt the drive. I
 

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bobkn

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I know nothing about Bitlocker.

One thing I've noticed on my laptop, which has PTT (Intel firmware TPM) enabled by default: the Windows 10 PIN is stored in the TPM. My other Win10 machines have PINs, but the TPM was not enabled.
 

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I've never used Bitlocker, but I believe that firmware TPM (Intel PTT, AMF fTPM) supports it.

As one who does use (is using) BitLocker I can definitively state firmware TPM (Intel PTT) is supported (works).
 

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I am not sure TPM is necessary for Bitlocker. I used Bitlocker a while ago, definitely before TPM appeared. I encrypted a USB drive and had to enter a password to unlock it. I could do it on any Windows machine. I'm quite certain most of them did not have TPM enabled. In fact, I have just recently enabled it on my main machine here because I wanted to try out Windows 11 and I read that TPM was required.
I've not tried this myself (my system supports firmware TPM) but there is a way to use BitLocker with a TPM module, but it's going to be a pain in the @ss each time you boot the PC ...

Because you don’t have a TPM, you must choose to either enter a password each time your PC boots, or provide a USB flash drive. If you provide a USB flash drive here, you’ll need that flash drive connected to your PC each time you boot up your PC to access the files.

Source: How to Use BitLocker Without a Trusted Platform Module (TPM)
 

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    Intel i9-9900K
    Motherboard
    Gigabyte Aorus Z390 Xtreme
    Memory
    32G (4x8) DDR4 Corsair RGB Dominator Platinum (3600Mhz)
    Graphics Card(s)
    Radeon VII
    Sound Card
    Onboard (ESS Sabre HiFi using Realtek drivers)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    NEC PA242w (24 inch)
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1200
    Hard Drives
    5 Samsung SSD drives: 2X 970 NVME (512 & 1TB), 3X EVO SATA (2X 2TB, 1X 1TB)
    PSU
    EVGA Super Nova I000 P2 (1000 watt)
    Case
    Cooler Master H500M
    Cooling
    Corsair H115i RGB Platinum
    Keyboard
    Logitech Craft
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master 2S
    Internet Speed
    100mb
    Browser
    Edge Chromium
    Antivirus
    Windows Security
    Other Info
    System used for gaming and photography.
  • Operating System
    Win 11 Pro Dev build 22454.1000
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga X1
    CPU
    Intel i7-7600U
    Motherboard
    Intel
    Memory
    16igg
    Graphics card(s)
    Intel HD 620
    Sound Card
    Onboard
    Monitor(s) Displays
    14.0 WQHD OLED Touch
    Screen Resolution
    2560 x 1440
    Hard Drives
    1TB NVMe Drive (OEM)
    PSU
    laptop
    Case
    laptop
    Cooling
    Laptop cooling
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Anywhere 2S
    Keyboard
    Laptop
    Internet Speed
    100MB
    Browser
    Edge Chromium
    Antivirus
    Windows Security

alkaufmann

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I was notified that the ASUS TPM SPI module that I was searching for is in stock and I ordered it. I still have not decided on which on ASUS motherboard I want, but the ones I am looking at, Intel or AMD, all have a header for this TPM module. If it turns out I don't need it, there is always EBay. :cool:

Ak
 

My Computer

System One

  • Operating System
    Window 11 Pro (Preview)

bobkn

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I was notified that the ASUS TPM SPI module that I was searching for is in stock and I ordered it. I still have not decided on which on ASUS motherboard I want, but the ones I am looking at, Intel or AMD, all have a header for this TPM module. If it turns out I don't need it, there is always EBay. :cool:

Ak
I'd bet that any motherboard new enough to use any CPU that is on the current support list will include a firmware TPM.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • Operating System
    Windows 11 22000.194
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    homebuilt
    CPU
    Ryzen 9 5950X
    Motherboard
    Asus Tuf X570 Plus Gaming
    Memory
    32GB Gskill DDR4 2800
    Graphics Card(s)
    Radeon RX 6900 XT
    Sound Card
    onboard
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Asus PA329C
    Screen Resolution
    3940 X 2160
    Hard Drives
    WB Black SN850 1TB M.2 NVME SSD
    Seagate Iron Wolf 8TB
    PSU
    Seasonic SS-1250XM
    Case
    Corsair Obsidian 750D
    Cooling
    Corsair H100i RGB Pro XT
    Internet Speed
    1200 Mbps
  • Operating System
    windows 10 19044.1151
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    homebuilt
    CPU
    Ryzen 9 3900X
    Motherboard
    MSI MPG X570 Gaming Plus
    Memory
    32GB
    Graphics card(s)
    Gigabyte RTX 2080 Super
    Sound Card
    built in Realtek
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Samsung LU28R550UQNXZA
    Screen Resolution
    3840 X 2160
    Hard Drives
    Sabrent 1 TB PCI-E 4.0 X4 NVME M.2
    4 GB Seagate Ironwolf
    PSU
    eVGA SuperNOVA 750 G1+
    Case
    Phanteks ENTHOO Pro M
    Cooling
    Corsair H100i RGB Pro XT
    Internet Speed
    400 Mbps

geneo

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I'd bet that any motherboard new enough to use any CPU that is on the current support list will include a firmware TPM.
They will because the firmware TPM is in the chipset, not the motherboard, and all modern chipsets that support those CPUs on the list have firmware TPM. It costs the MB manufacturers nothing to expose a setting in the BIOS to enable it.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro x64
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    DIY
    CPU
    10900KF, 5.1 GHz delid
    Motherboard
    Asus Maximus Hero XII Wifi
    Memory
    64GB G.skill TridentZ RGB 3200CL14 B-die @ 3600 CL16
    Graphics Card(s)
    Asus ROG Strix 2070 Super A8G
    Sound Card
    Onboard Audio, Vanatoo Transparent One; Klipsch R-12SWi Sub
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Eizo CG2730, ViewSonic VP2768
    Screen Resolution
    2560 x 1440p x 2
    Hard Drives
    Samsung 960 Pro 512 GB (OS), Samsung 980 1TB, Raid 0: 1TB 850 EVO + 1TB 860 EVO. Sabrent USB-C DS-SC5B docking station: 6TB WDC Black, 6TB Ironwolf Pro; 2TB WDC Black
    PSU
    750W Seasonic Prime Ultra Titanium
    Case
    Fractal Design Meshify 2
    Cooling
    EK-AIO 360 D-RGB w/Phanteks 120 T30 fans, 2x Noctua NF-A14 Chromax case
    Keyboard
    Glorious GMMK TKL - Brown mechanical
    Mouse
    Logitech G305 wireless gaming
    Internet Speed
    120 Mb/s down, 12 Mb/s up
    Browser
    Firefox
    Antivirus
    Defender, Macrium Reflect 8 ;-)
    Other Info
    Logitech C920e Webcam
  • Operating System
    Mac OS Big Sur
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Apple 13" Macbook Pro 2020 (m1)
    CPU
    M1
    Monitor(s) Displays
    2560x1600
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