PC owners scramble for add-in TPM 2.0 modules in prep for Windows 11

Retail stock of the modules is already depleted as scalpers are hocking the parts like sneakers and GPUs.

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Among all the fanfare surrounding Microsoft’s unveiling of Windows 11 to the general public, a note provided in the official system requirements for the new operating system piqued the interest of enthusiast PC users and gamers. For full compatibility with Windows 11 upgrades, user machines will need Trust Platform Module (TPM) 2.0 hardware installed. Because many consumer and gamer-centric motherboards do not include this module by default, add-in modules would be required for the operating system upgrade. After knowledge of the TPM 2.0 requirement became widespread, online retail supply of the modules instantly dried up with scalpers angling to cash in on the shortage.

The Trusted Platform Module is a chip that can be integrated into systems or added in later via modules. It is designed to offer hardware-level protection for encryption keys, credentials, and other important data. Its deployment is rather common for corporate and business fleet laptops or desktops. TPM 2.0 hardware in consumer-level motherboards and prebuilt PCs is much less common. Many motherboards have onboard headers for TPM modules that have gone unused until now.

Because these add-in modules were not previously a hot commodity, the available supply in retail chains was pretty low. With a major operating system upgrade on the horizon for hundreds of millions of computers, things have changed. Predictably, scalpers jumped into action and gobbled up what was available and are now using platforms like eBay, Amazon, and NewEgg to extract every last penny from enthusiasts looking to prepare their systems for Windows 11.

It is unknown if supply of these add-in modules will be able to match the demand before Microsoft begins the rollout of Windows 11. The world is still bogged down by the ongoing chip shortage with no signs of ending in the near term. Global demand for TPM 2.0 chips and hardware could potentially put further strain on a supply chain that has been near the breaking point for more than a year.

Contributing Tech Editor

Chris Jarrard likes playing games, crankin' tunes, and looking for fights on obscure online message boards. He understands that breakfast food is the only true food. Don't @ him.

From The Chatty
  • reply
    June 25, 2021 12:10 PM

    Chris Jarrard posted a new article, PC owners scramble for add-in TPM 2.0 modules in prep for Windows 11

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      June 25, 2021 12:24 PM

      I thought Enkidu cleared this up yesterday. Hardware TMP module is not actually required. https://www.shacknews.com/chatty?id=40694426#

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        June 25, 2021 12:25 PM

        Oops, wrong link: https://www.shacknews.com/chatty?id=40694409

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          June 25, 2021 12:34 PM

          Can confirm. Was looking at the MSI site about this for my motherboard. Found they sell a chip card you can plug into your motherboard. Went into my bios and found fTPM. Activated it, and that Health Check app said I was good afterwards.

          But, if the avg user doesn't have this enabled, I can see this is going to be an issue that Geek Squad-like service are going to prey on

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            June 25, 2021 12:51 PM

            I'm registering TPMs 'R' Us and offering local installation for $299.99

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              June 25, 2021 12:52 PM

              Have you seen some of the scalper prices on ebay? LOL!

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          June 25, 2021 7:06 PM

          He was incorrect with this statement “implementation of TPM 2.0 is already required for Windows 10”. Windows 10 does not require TPM at all to function. You can have no hardware or software enabled and Windows 10 works perfectly fine and this is easily verified via tpm.msc

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            June 26, 2021 6:15 AM

            My statement is true for OEMs, as they are required to enable Secure Boot with TPM 2.0 for any Windows 10/11 machine sold. You are correct in that home PC builders are not required to have TPM 2.0 nor Secure Boot, but the compatibility checker will fail unless you've got support on your CPU or with a hardware module.

            Microsoft has had really bad communication on this and it's freaking people out for no reason.

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      June 25, 2021 12:32 PM

      Yikes. I'm glad we all figured out we don't need one lol.

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        June 25, 2021 12:49 PM

        Even that article could be better written and much more direct about it. Almost like he had to hit a length min or something.

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      June 25, 2021 12:52 PM

      Can't wait to see all the TPM issues in the business world.

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        June 25, 2021 1:07 PM

        What do you mean? We’ve required TPMs in laptops since I started. I’ve built entire hardware platforms around earlier TPM versions which are still in production more than a decade later.

        I think what you might be referring to are clowns who think installing a TPM = security. Those people will fuck anything up and this isn’t an exception.

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          June 25, 2021 1:23 PM

          That's what I mean. Sorry I'm so vague, been up for too long.

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      June 25, 2021 6:05 PM

      I had bought a tpm module for my mb just for funsies.

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      June 25, 2021 8:19 PM

      I'm not ready to let go of my X58 rig, it's still trucking along like a champ!

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