Well, who thought Abit was dead is definitely wrong. After being bought by USI they are pushing hard on new products, including IL-90MV, a motherboard based on Intel 945GT chipset targeted to media center PCs, i.e., Viiv-compliant desktops. Abit chose socket 478 for this motherboard as mobile socket 478 CPUs like Core Duo and Core 2 Duo (for notebooks) consume less power thus produce less noise (as they run cooler they can use quieter coolers) than desktop CPUs, an important factor when you think of building a PC to stay on your living room. But this product highlight is its on-board HDMI output, being the first time we’ve seen such feature embedded on a motherboard. Let’s take a look at this new product.
Since it is targeted to multimedia PCs, Abit IL-90MV uses the smaller microATX form factor, as you can see on Figures 1 and 2. Because of this reduced size, this motherboard has only two PCI slots and one PCI Express x1 slot.
Figure 1: Abit IL-90MV Motherboard.
Figure 2: Abit IL-90MV Motherboard.
The main focus of this motherboard is clearly multimedia. As we mentioned, it uses the new HDMI HDTV connector, supporting resolutions up to 1080p (1920×1080 progressive scanning). It is not only that. It has two FireWire ports, indispensable if you want to transfer videos from your DV camera to your computer. On the audio section, this motherboard provides 7.1 audio with on-board optical SPDIF connectors. More technical details below.
Figure 3: Rear panel, see the HDMI connector and two optical SPDIF connectors.
The HDMI port found on this motherboard is controlled by a SiliconImage Sil1390 chip, as you can see in Figure 4.
Figure 4: SiliconImage Sil1390 HDMI chip.
The motherboard comes with a HDMI-to-DVI cable, so you can use the HDMI port even tough your current display (HDTV, for example) doesn’t have a HDMI port (but has a DVI port, of course).
Figure 5: HDMI-to-DVI cable.
On the audio side, this motherboard uses a Realtek ALC882M codec, which provides an impressive 103 dB output signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), a 90 dB input signal-to-noise ratio, eight audio channels (7.1 format) and SPDIF output using up to 192 kHz sampling rate (the input is limited to 96 kHz).