The Cooler Master Nepton 140XL can be snapped up for just £75.99 from Box.co.uk, meaning it is just a few pounds more expensive than the Thermaltake Water 3.0, Corsair H80i and Anted Kuhler 950 / 650, but on an overclocked CPU it out performs them too, so spend a little more, get a little bit better cooling performance, sounds like a great deal to me. The 280L is £92.99 from Box.co.uk, making it one of the cheapest large AIO water coolers on the market and the cheapest 280mm one that I know of, at least in terms of brand name products.
When I actually tested the Nepton coolers I was oblivious to their retail price, initial impressions were that they were much more expensive as their build quality and design is up there with the best. The new pump design is really nice, it’s very clean looking and the white LED back-lighting is a nice touch without being over powering or distracting. The fans are of a very high standard and the fact that it can all be installed tool-free is a big win for cutting installation times and it also makes it easier to remove fans for cleaning and general maintenance. All the cables are sleeved and all the screws and fittings are nicely finished, so the whole thing should look great in any system build. Installation was very easy on both of these coolers, the pipe design makes them very easy to work with and the high quality of fittings on the water pipes felt nice and durable while working with the cooler.
Performance is very competitive and while not enough to take the top spot on our charts, either of these coolers offers considerable cooling performance on an overclocked CPU, more than enough for most high-end and enthusiast level users. I would have liked to hear less noise from the pump on both of them, but hopefully that is something Cooler Master can improve on in the future.
The 280L is certainly better suited at handing a maxed out CPU for long periods of time, something that will reap big rewards for those who are overclocking their rigs, but the 140XL offered much better idle temperatures at both stock and overclocked CPU speeds, so really it is about scaling the cooler to the thermal and power requirements of your CPU, if you’re going for a high end CPU with high clocks, get the bigger radiator, but for mid-range overclocking, or if you just want extra cooling performance while gaming, then the 140XL is still a very proficient product.
- Robust build quality
- Bold overall design
- Nice pump design
- High quality fans included
- Easy to install
- Very competitive price
- Pump could be quieter
eTeknix says: “Cooler Master have clearly put a lot of effort into their new Nepton coolers, their build quality is exceptional throughout, which is backed up by some great performance and their competitive pricing makes both the 140XL and the 280L a prime solution for those looking to upgrade their rig.”
Thank you Cooler Master for providing us with these samples.