If you want the best in AIO coolers; look no further than the Nepton 280L. Cooler Master proves that with a little customization, some serious developments in a new head unit, and some "take no prisoners" style fans, they have delivered the best AIO to date or any CPU cooler on these new charts for that matter. The kit is all inclusive with everything you will need. The hardware is very secure, rigid, and easy to work with. Mounting both the head unit to the motherboard as well as getting the radiator into the case is also made easier due to the fact that all the screws used knurled ends, so you can do everything with fingers to get them in place, and secure later with a screwdriver. The Nepton 280L took on the competition and made them all eat dust as it hit the NOS to boost into first place in our thermal results. The box says to expect extreme performance right on the front, and with results like these, they have definitely delivered exactly that.
That level of performance is definitely at the expense of your ears though. These fans are some of the highest rated in airflow and static pressure that we have tested with in quite some time. To get the cooling efficiency that we saw, speed of the fans has to be fast, and with that comes chopping the air coming into the fans. The nice thing about this is that you always have the option to allow the PWM controls on your motherboard keep the fans at a more enjoyable level, but at the expense of some of the performance. For normal gaming and workloads this is fine, but for those of you looking to gain every last drop of overclock from your chip, you are going to be dealing with quite the roar coming from that system with the Nepton 280L attached.
As for the pump, it was more silent than the fans in any aspect of testing. For all of our testing the pump was set to run at maximum potential. In this sample, that was 7250 RPMs. With the PWM curve in control, at the low-end speeds will vary, but our spun near 4000 RPM when idling. The transfer plate, and the thinner grooves and channeled design are definitely more efficient as well. We have seen other 280mm AIO solutions, and none are as efficient as this is. On top of the performance, the head unit is solid, has the cool lit ring on top of it, and offers the beefiest angled fittings I have seen on any AIO.
When you get down to it, and are ready to buy this AIO (and at this point I have a good feeling that a lot of buyers will be lined up to make a purchase), we have to consider the pricing. Considering that this kit retails at $119.99, and comes at the same price as most of the 240mm solutions out there currently, it is easy to justify this purchase. Especially when you consider that this is an all new head unit with all the bells and whistles, there is now an increase in the diameter of tubing to allow for better flow from this new pump, and the fact that they packaged fans that may feel like they want to levitate on their own, but will handle just about anything you can throw at it. I for one am a huge fan of the Nepton 280L design and performance, and bottom line: they are almost not charging enough for what they have just delivered.