Windows 11 Requires a TPM chip. Should you be concerned?
Microsoft has released the new system requirements for Windows 11 which it plans on releasing to the public in the coming weeks. On the list of requirements is a TPM (Trusted Platform Module) 2.0 chip on your existing or new device requiring its users to have a compliant machine if they would like to make use of the new software.
So, what is TPM?
A TPM is a small chip physically located on your motherboard (Discrete TPM), or a connector that requires an addon module (Integrated TPM), or it can be virtually built into your CPU (Firmware TPM). You can spot the connector on some desktop motherboards if it is supported. Its purpose is to add a more secure, hardware layer to data protection for User Credentials, System Security, DRM and Encrypted Passwords. Microsoft has been rolling out support for TPM across both Windows 7 and Windows 10 devices, since as far back as 2016, allowing users with TPM Chips and those without to use their software. Users with TPM chips receive added security benefits.
Why is it important now?
Microsoft released a piece detailing how, according to their findings, user information and security has been under increased threat with the recent rise in firmware attacks.
Due to their findings, Microsoft has decided to take further steps to protect end-user machines with the TPM 2.0 requirement enforcement. Microsoft believes that enough business desktops and laptops have adopted TPM 2.0 since it was introduced, but is this really the case? We will soon find out.
How do I know if I have a TPM?
Microsoft has released a system checker which will consider all the requirements for the upgrade and a TPM check is included in the program.
In the meantime, if you would like to manually check if you are TPM 2.0 compliant, do the following:
For Discrete TPM
For Firmware TPM
For Integrated TPM
The main concern for older laptops is CPU compatibility. However, it is speculated that laptops purchased from 2016 should be fine if they have an 8th Generation CPU or younger. You can check this in your system specifications where the first number after the typical i3, i5 or i7 indicates the CPU generation. For AMD you will need at minimum a Ryzen 2000 series or newer CPU
Initially, Microsoft stated that a TPM 1.2 chip would do, but it has since clarified that only TPM 2.0 will do. However, that is not necessarily the case, despite Microsoft’s insistence to the contrary.
If your machine does not have a dedicated TPM chip, your CPU may have an equivalent built in.
In short, you do not necessarily need to rush out and purchase a TPM chip to run Windows 11 on your desktop machine. Hopefully, Microsoft clarifies this in its Windows 11 system requirements.
So, what do you do if your system does not meet the requirements? It is not all doom and gloom if you are unable to run Windows 11 as Microsoft will continue to provide support and updates for Windows 10 until the 14th of October 2025.
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