Abit's IL-90MV motherboard is no benchmark burner, but it certainly can get the job done when it comes to delivering an excellent home theater PC experience. The board runs extremely quiet, consumes very little power, and has plenty of high-end audio/video output ports to satisfy the needs of nearly every home entertainment center. The IL-90MV is certainly a niche market item, but there are so few other competitors in this market that we think the IL-90MV should do rather well.
The IL-90MV comes as close as we've seen yet to being the perfect home theater PC motherboard. Beyond the basic core system components (CPU, memory, hard disk), there really aren't any major features which one needs to add to this motherboard in order to have an HD-ready home theater PC system. Many folks will add a TV tuner card (or two), and this board is ready with both PCIe x1 slots and 32-bit PCI slots. It would be nice to add a graphics card to expand the video output abilities of this board, but if leaving out this feature helps keep the price low while still satisfying the majority of the market, it's a limitation we're willing to accept. In comparison to other Core Duo / Core 2 Duo mobile platforms, the IL-90MV is surprisingly low priced at around $150. Most Socket-479m motherboards to date retail for around $200+, and those with custom layouts and non-standard outputs go for more, se we were expecting the price tag on the IL-90MV to be considerably higher.
We would love to see a second generation board for this form factor, perhaps using Intel's latest chipsets with X3000 series integrated graphics, Serial ATA-II, and DDR2-800 support. We would also like to see a bit more control over fan speeds and clock speeds, and a PCI Express x16 expansion slots. While the 945G chipset is certainly aging, it still can do the job just fine for home theater PC usage. This board impressed us greatly. We're giving the Abit IL-90MV a 9 on the Heat Meter and hope this won't be the last HTPC-oriented board from Abit