Cooler Master Nepton 280L Liquid CPU Cooler Review


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Closer Look: Nepton 280L

Using the same packaging that exists on all of Cooler Master’s new products, the Nepton 280L sits snug inside a cardboard insert similar to almost every liquid cooling unit on the market.


With each component wrapped individually, the Nepton 280L contains the radiator attached to the new pump with large-diameter FEP flex tubing, the two 140mm JetFlo fans, mounting hardware and an instruction booklet.


Cooler Master includes everything you’ll need for every socket on the market.  Mainstream Intel and AMD sockets will share the universal back plate (that is labeled for easy installation); you just need to select the right pair of brackets to attach the CPU water block – of course, socket 1366/2011 will use the back plate that comes with the motherboard and the included screws.  The screws that attach the fans to the radiator (and the radiator to the case) are thumbscrews, making installation refreshingly simple.  A PWM splitter cable is included, as well as a small tube of Cooler Master’s thermal interface material.


With an all black motif (and gloss black accents throughout) the Nepton 280L should blend in with almost every design scheme.  The only LED present is the illuminated Cooler Master logo on the water block, done in a classy white.  I like having some sort of LED on the pump so I can tell at a glance it is connected and receiving power, but even if you’re not a fan of LED accents this one is tastefully done and much more subtle than many LED designs.


The Nepton 280L contains a standard 280mm aluminum radiator, threaded for both 140mm and 120mm fans.  This allows a wider range of mounting options but you’ll still need to find a case that can accommodate the 140mm width (total dimensions of the radiator are 311mm x 139mm x 30mm).


Adding the 140mm JetFlo fans adds another 25mm to the “depth” of the entire unit when installed, so make sure your case has 55mm (2.2 inches) of clearance between your mounting point and any hardware close by.


The CPU water block contains a pump of Cooler Master’s design with a claimed cooling capacity of 300W.  The cold plate itself is copper and contains new “Ultrafine Microchannel” fins that provide a larger surface area to transfer heat from the copper to the sealed coolant.


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  1. Greg

    I have one of these 280L Neptons cooling a heavily OC’d A10 7850K and it is far and away the best AIO out there. I have thrown an obscene amount of voltage at it for OC’ing review purposes and it has easily taken it by scaling the excellent Jet Flo 140mm fans. I think the SP may be underrated for some reason. Thus far I have been using it in push only mode, but I am going to see what effect push /pull adds.
    A very impressive unit to be sure.

    1. Tom Jaskulka

      Hey Greg, glad you enjoyed the review. The Nepton series certainly seem to be strong performers – you’ll have to check out Aidan’s review of a new Nepton cooler, as it seems to have fixed some of my noise complaints 🙂 Hard to beat those twin 140mm JetFlo fans though…

      I’ve considered a Nepton for my A10-7850K as those things draw a surprising amount of power when overclocked! What do you have yours running at (and on what board)? I can’t seem to get mine completely stable above 4.6 GHz without pushing an uncomfortable amount of voltage. I’d be interested to hear if it’s just my chip (or board, for that matter) 🙂

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