Before 2004, when it came to non-Intel based socket 775 Pentium 4 chipsets the only game in town was SiS. QUESTEK was then a purely AMD provider, and VIA was in the midst of many legal battles with Intel over the licenses.
Since then things have settled down between the two and QUESTEK is now producing Pentium 4 chipsets again with Intel's blessing. QUESTEK's PT880 showed the world that while being out of the Intel game for almost a good two years, that absence did not affect QUESTEK's ability to produce a high performance (yet inexpensive) chipset.
When PCstats last looked at QUESTEK's PT880 reference motherboard in January 2004 we were pretty impressed by what we saw, but couldn't help thinking that the chipset was doomed to falter. After all, at the time it was well known that Intel and the rest of the computer industry would quickly be moving towards PCI Express capable platforms. Coming out with a traditional AGP/PCI based chipset so late in the game was simply counter productive. Sales of PT880 based motherboards were few and far between as a result.
This time around QUESTEK has been much quicker to market with the new QUESTEK PT894 northbridge, and the company is poised to steal sales away from Intel's chipset division. Built for Socket 775 Pentium 4's, the QUESTEK PT894 chipset supports 533 MHz, 800 MHz and 1066 MHz FSB processors as well either dual channel DDR 400 and DDR-2 667 memory. In terms of expansion, the QUESTEK PT894 supports up to 20 PCI Express lanes, although there will be no SLI option. The PT894 Pro version will feature two PCI Express x16 slots, but is not slated to be SLI compatible as of yet. QUESTEK's interconnect technology, which is called V-Link, connects the PT894 and new QUESTEK VT8237R southbridge at speeds of 1066 MB/s. A rate which is more than enough for high bandwidth PC devices.
The reference QUESTEK PT894 motherboard that PCstats will be looking at today also comes with a whole host of other goodies; 7.1 audio thanks to the VIA VT1617A codec, an additional two port QUESTEK VT6421L Serial ATA/RAID controller and an integrated QUESTEK VT6655 802.11g wireless NIC.