Gigabyte Motherboard TPM Compatibility

I recently acquired a Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD3P-B3 motherboard, as part of a machine upgrade.

When I got the board out, I noticed it had a 20-pin TPM header connection (or 19, if you count the fact one pin is blanked). However I could not find any information on what, if any, TPM modules were supported, nor could I see any TPM modules available from Gigabyte.

So, I sent a support request to Gigabyte, asking which modules were compatible, and received this reply :

"Sorry but at this moment we didn’t sell TPM card alone in retail channel"

I then asked about OTHER TPM modules (other manufacturers), not just GB ones, and was told :

"According to related department, we only tested our very own GC-TPM for TPM modules"

So there you have it....Gigabyte said they don't sell TPM modules to the "retail channel", but do imply they have them, but they won't give any information.  Not overly helpful!.  So I went searching & experimenting.

I found this page (http://hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=1607955) where someone else had the same idea - they wanted a 20-pin TPM module, and they also found one of the same modules I'd come across (this one), but they also noticed the pin-outs didn't match - so couldn't be trusted.

So I took a different tack, and looked for other motherboard manufacturers who supported TPM.  After a few minutes, I found that ASUS also sold boards with 20-pin TPM headers, AND (more importantly) they sold TPM modules!  I downloaded an ASUS P5 motherboard manual (which had TPM support) and got the pin out.  It matched the pin-out from my Gigabyte board!

So, now I knew I should be able to use an ASUS TPM module, I tried to find one.  In the UK, it seems these things are rarer than hens teeth.  Practically nowhere lists them, and the two places I could find that did, didn't have any in stock.

I ordered one from Germany, but they couldn't source one either, so eventually I acquired one via an eBay storefront of an Italian IT shop!  Convoluted?  Just a bit!

Anyway, the piece I ordered was one of these. It looks like this:

UPDATE : If you're in the UK, you can now order one from here : https://www.scan.co.uk/products/asus-tpm-(trusted-platform-module)-90-c1b0au-00xbn0vz - however, the Gigabyte official one can be (pre) ordered via https://www.scan.co.uk/products/gigabyte-gc-tpm-trusted-platform-module - which means you don't need to worry about the headers etc below! :)

You can't really see in that picture, put the PCB extends down behind the connector.  This is a problem, as the Gigabyte board has a socket, which stops the module being connected - unless you fancy either cutting the PCB or the socket.

So I went to Maplin (a UK high street component retailer) and bought two 10 pin USB header extenders. (http://www.maplin.co.uk/10pin-extention-cable-male-to-female-346546). They look like this:

Two of those give you 20-pins of extended header - allowing you to fit the module, although you do have to remove/bend one of the pins, as the module has 1 blanked off (remember I said 19-pins above?).  Here is the module on it's header cables.  Note mine is (temporarily) sitting on a SCSI cable - but as the PCB has exposed pins on the rear, I would suggest you consider insulating it or somehow mounting it securely in your machine to avoid shorts.

The TPM installed in our computer with header cables attached


Anyway, once the module was plugged in, I powered up the machine and entered the BIOS.  Lo, there was a new option on the bottom right of the BIOS screen, labelled "Security Chip" - so it was definitely recognised!

Within the Security Chip menu, the chip was defaulted to "Disable/Deactivate".  I set it to "Enable/Activate", saved BIOS settings and rebooted.

Once Windows 7 had started, Device Manager showed "Security Devices", which expands to show "Trusted Platform Module 1.2". I then installed the supplied Asus software from CD, and setup the module ("owned it").  Alternately, I could have used "tpm.msc", but the ASUS GUI was more user friendly.

I've also successfully installed and configured BitLocker with it!

So, for anyone asking, the GA-Z68X-UD3P-B3 (F7 BIOS) IS compatible with the ASUS TPM-Infineon chip (with spare cables).

Happy hunting! :)