Windows 11 requires a Trusted Platform Module 2.0 as part of its
hardware requirements, but only a very select handful of people
will ever need to buy a physical module for their motherboard.
Chances are extremely high you don't need one—the vast majority of
users can use firmware TPM instead, and everyone else with
unsupported hardware is better off running Windows 10 as it is. But
if you're determined to seek one anyway, having less competition is
a good thing. Finding a TPM is still rough-going at the moment.
After the rush of purchases that happened this past summer—before
Microsoft's new operating system even launched—stock remains
constrained. The few people seeking a physical TPM already have
plenty competition as it is. The good news is that prices aren't
nearly as inflated as they once were, if you know where to
TPM buying checklist
Before you buy anything, make sure you've first verified all of
the following information:
- Your motherboard has a TPM 2.0 header and support for the
module in the BIOS/UEFI interface. (Stop here and do not buy a TPM
if your mobo does not have both.)
- The pin arrangement of your motherboard's TPM header.
Unfortunately, the number of pins (either 14 or 20) and their
arrangement is not standard.
- The pin-out of the TPM module you're considering for purchase.
It needs to be compatible with your motherboard for it to
Where to buy a TPM for
Is your favorite
retailer out of stock of TPM 2.0 models? Sign up for restock
notifications so you can buy one at a reasonable price.
As of late October, you'll find TPM listings at major
electronics retailers and auction sites. Pickings are still slim
currently, with the most common modules from Asus, Gigabyte, MSI,
and ASRock mostly out of stock at stores or being sold at two to
three times higher prices in auctions. But if you look carefully,
you can spot in-stock or reasonable listings on Newegg and
We recommend signing up for stock notifications for the TPM
model you need, so you can grab it at a normal price (between $15
to $35). Waiting won't hurt—if anything, Windows 11's performance
and features will (hopefully) get necessary improvements during that
Be sure to also check local computer stores for TPM stock, as
they're often a great source for scarce components. For example, Central Computers, a chain local to the San
Francisco Bay Area (where the PCWorld office is based), has Asus
and SuperMicro models available for in-store purchase.
As always when hunting for scarce items, stay patient and
vigilant. With enough time and luck, you should be able to get what
you need without having to overspend.