Windows 10 and 11: fTPM causes system stutter on AMD systems

Windows[German]Windows 10 or Windows 11 and AMD are not a dream team and may cause trouble again and again. The processor manufacturer AMD has now confirmed in a support document that systems with fTPM cause problems under Windows 10 and 11. Intermittent system stuttering can occur when fTPM is enabled under Windows 10 and 11. The remedy is to disable fTPM, as the manufacturer writes in a support document.


Various performance problems were known in connection with Windows 11. I had reported about it in the blog posts AMD warns: CPUs run up to 15% slower with Windows 11 and Windows 11 issues with AMD: more performance lost with Update KB5006674, fix with Update KB5006746. However, there is a new problems with fTPM required by Windows 11. 

What is fTPM?

The abbreviation fTPM stands for firmware TPM (Trusted Platform Module). This means that the TPM functionality is provided via firmware via modules in the processor and/or chipset. The functionality in question can be enabled or disabled via BIOS/UEFI. Since Windows 11 requires a TPM as a prerequisite for compatibility, users will enable fTPM on their systems in order to install the operating system.

fTPM causes stutter on AMD systems

AMD recently pointed out issues with fTPM in connection with the two Windows versions mentioned in a support document Intermittent System Stutter Experienced with fTPM Enabled on Windows® 10 and 11. The document states that AMD has found that certain AMD Ryzen™ system configurations intermittently perform extended fTPM-related memory transactions in SPI flash memory ("SPIROM") on the motherboard. This can cause temporary pauses in system interactivity or responsiveness until the transaction completes.

A technical paraphrase for seconds-long system jerks that annoy Windows 10 and Windows 11 users. As a result, the mouse and keyboard hang and sound output stutters.

BIOS update by manufacturer until May 2022

To solve the problem, affected users need a system BIOS update (sBIOS) for the motherboard in question. This BIOS update is supposed to provide improved modules for the fTPM interaction with SPIROM. According to the published support document, AMD expects flashable sBIOS files to be available to customers starting in early May 2022. The exact timing of BIOS availability for a particular motherboard will depend on the testing and integration schedule of the specific manufacturer. Flashable updates for motherboards will be based on AMD AGESA 1207 (or newer).


Workarounds for the problem

According to AMD, those who are affected by the above-mentioned problem can try various workarounds. One option is to disable the fTPM functionality in the BIOS and use a hardware TPM ("dTPM") instead. However, this requires that the motherboard also has a TPM chip.

If this is to be tested and the motherboard supports it, TPM-supported encryption systems (e.g. BitLocker Drive Encryption) must be disabled before the changeover. In addition, important system data should be backed up beforehand.

The other option is to disable the fTPM functionality in the BIOS, unless it is needed for Windows 10 or Windows 11 operation. Overall, however, it is not without a certain comedy that Microsoft propagates TMP for the secure operation of Windows 10/11, but then such problems occur. (via).

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