Cooler Master Nepton 280L Reviewred454 - November 18, 2013
Category: CPU Cooling
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Cooler Master Nepton 280L Introduction:
A few years ago, water cooling was limited to those who were ambitious enough to attempt it - overclockers, hardcore enthusiasts, or just someone who wanted their build to stand out. And it certainly wasn't cheap. Remember the first time you saw a water cooling system on a computer? Amazing. I remember when I first saw one, and I remember thinking that one day I would have one whether I needed one or not!
Manufacturers caught on to the trend and developed the AIO or All-In-One systems. This took the guess work out of water cooling and allowed the average builder to enjoy the benefits (and bragging rights) of water cooling. They made it mainstream. Now some of the hardcore builders may thumb their noses at the AIO systems and argue that these systems are too broad, too vanilla, and that a true water cooled system must be custom built to be effective. But really, these AIO systems are not some cheesy after thoughts. There is a lot of engineering and testing that goes into developing an AIO. Now they are affordable and come in a variety of sizes. And case builders are regularly incorporating water cooling into their designs. This trend is not going away anytime soon.
Cooler Master's family of cases, power supplies and fans have been at the top of the short list for anyone looking for stylish, long-lasting, affordable hardware. Cooler Master jumped into the water cooling ring with the release of the Seidon and followed it up with the Eisberg series. While the Seidon was designed in-house, the Eisberg was developed alongside Alphacool, a German company. With a new pump designed exclusively for Cooler Master, the Nepton is its latest entry into the AIO (All-in-One) world of watercooling solutions. The Nepton is the first tool-free AIO watercooler and comes in two flavors, the 140XL and the 280L, and the 280L is the model we will review today. The Nepton uses thicker (13.7mm), longer tubing, JetFlo 140mm PWM fans, a new Ultrafine Microchannel water block, and this system can handle over 300 watts of heat dissipation.
Cooler Master Nepton 280L Closer Look:
The graphic on the front panel of the box shows a close-up view of the pump, tubing, radiator, and fans. The Nepton text and Cooler Master logo have a shiny silver foil effect and really stand out. Clearly stated are three features - Maintentance Free, Ultrafine Micro Channel, and Durable FEP Tubing. FEP (Fluorinated Ethylene Propylene) was invented by DuPont and is used in a wide varitey of industrial applications. The water block lens is illuminated with white LEDs. Moving along to the rear of the box, we have a list of the socket coverage. Also the features are listed in eight languages, along with a performance chart and a detailed dimensional layout.
On the wine-colored side we have all the specifiactions listed and again the socket coverage. The opposite side shows just the water block along with the silver Cooler Master logo and Nepton text.
And the wine color follows around the long side and includes the silver Cooler Master logo and Nepton 280L and socket coverage text.
Inside the box we have the formed fiber tray. Everything is held in position and protected by the shaped compartments.
After removing the items from the box, we have a better view of the contents: the radiator and water block, the mounting hardware, the fans, and of course, the instructions. The mounting hardware consists of a small tube of thermal paste, the common base mount for both AMD and Intel, and a variety of screws. Now I will let the cat out of the bag a little - one thing that I see are thumb screws. It seems that Cooler Master may have streamlined the installation process and we'll see about that shortly. Continuing on there is the water block mount for AMD and Intel motherboards, and then a power cable / splitter for the fans. This splitter allows you to power both fans from one motherboard fan header.
On to the next page to get a closer look at the details.