The Test System and Thermal Results
I would first like to thank ASUS, InWin, Corsair and Fractal Design for supplying products for me to test with. To see our testing methodology and to find out what goes into making our charts, please refer to our CPU Cooler Testing and Methodology article for that information.
At stock levels of the 4770K, the Nepton 280L pushes the others aside as it takes top honors with both the 120mm and the 140mm JetFlo fans. As the unit is shipped, when tested, the Nepton 280L registered an average of 47.75 degrees across the cores. When the JetFlo 120's were installed the temperature increased slightly to 49.5 degrees. We did run a push/pull configuration with the 120mm fans pushing and the 140s pulling; there we saw a 46 degree result.
This is where the efficiency and performance is really put up against the wall, and where weaker solutions will show their true colors. With the new components, thicker tubing, and the fans the Nepton 280L shows up the rest of the coolers on the chart. With the 120's on the radiator the result is 69 degrees, but with the 140's on it, the temperature dropped to 67.83 degrees averaged across the cores. It gets better. In that same push/pull configuration the result was an amazing 65.25 degrees for the average.