Cooler Master Nepton 280L Liquid CPU Cooler
Starting off with the new head unit, Cooler Master has placed their name inside the logo ring. Along with the textured plastic look of the pump cover, that logo ring will illuminate with white LEDs when it gets powered up.
The head unit is a bit taller than most other AIO coolers, but I also notice different swivel fittings. These are actually part of the head unit, and not something screwed into the sides like most others. Just like all the others, you still have full flexibility to turn them to fit the installation.
On the opposite side of the head unit, there is a braided cable that comes from the very bottom by the base. This ends in a 4-pin PWM connection to connect the pump for power and speed control.
Cooler Master uses a plastic sticker to protect the mating surface during transit; it is noted to be pulled off prior to installation. I do like that there is no pre-applied paste full of debris like we have seen before.
The base has milling marks left in its finish of the pure copper base plate. Also notice that the screw heads have changed to TA or triangle shaped to lessen the chance users will try to open it. On the back side of this plate is a very finely finned section with a wide groove running down the middle. This adds twice the surface area as a normal AIO plate, and the channel improves the flow as well.
Between the head unit and the radiator, Cooler Master provides the Nepton 280L with more than fourteen inches of FEP tubing that has been stretched to fit over the barbs and fittings. Between the two ends, that FEP tubing is protected with the plastic covering, and it lessens the chance of kinking the tubing inside of the case.
This end of the tubing ends as it is stretched to fit over the aluminum barbs. Off to the right side there is a cap on another port. This is how the units are filled, and the sticker plainly says not to remove it, as it will void the two year warranty.
The Nepton 280L, just by its naming, suggests it uses an all aluminum 280mm radiator, and it does. The bonus with this design is where you can mount the stock 140mm JetFlo fans; there is also a wider spacing setup to allow 120mm fans to be used instead, or as with the stock fans in push/pull.
Upon closer examination of the radiator, there are quite a few of the fins askew from their intended orientation. We did take the time to straighten these out slightly, and these damages seem to have happened before transit, as the plastic liner showed no signs of scratching against these.
Jumping ahead a bit, we grabbed the pair of 140mm JetFlo fans and strapped them onto the radiator to show how well they look, and how much of the fins are covered. These fans come with rubber pads on all four corners, on both sides, and as the specs alluded to, should be more than capable of good results.