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Cooler Master Nepton 240M AIO CPU Cooler Review

Cooler Master Nepton 240M AIO CPU Cooler Review

Today Chad takes us on a tour of Cooler Master's new Nepton 240M all-in-one CPU water cooler. Is this the one for you? Read on and take a look.

@chad_sebring
Published Thu, Feb 5 2015 9:10 PM CST   |   Updated Thu, Jul 30 2020 4:20 PM CDT
Rating: 96%Manufacturer: Cooler Master

Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing

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VIEW GALLERY - 35 IMAGES

Neither Cooler Master, nor a sealed AIO should really need any introduction at this point in the cooling game, as both have been around for quite a while now. While Cooler Master typically sticks to the standard sealed AIO units, at one point they did strike a deal with Swiftech and carried one of Swiftech's AIOs. However, Cooler Master has always stayed the course and kept developing the standard issue AIOs as well. It seems like everyone and their pet monkey is offering an AIO these days, and only a select few companies stand out, but what is it that makes those standouts what they are? It really comes down to features, hardware, and accessories that the base model AIO providers don't seem to offer.

With most AIOs, you get some very simple hardware to mount the head unit, and over time, we have seen that some work much better than others. In the Nepton series, the provided hardware is top-notch, solid, and very capable of affording good pressure on the CPU. When it comes to the tubing, we have seen plain tubes, corrugated coverings, custom tubing, and even anti-kink coils, so there is a wide variety of options to look for there. However, when it comes to the radiators, most companies send along a simple set of screws, and the installation instructions require you to mount the fans directly to the radiator. Mounting the fans in this manner will cause vibrations to transfer into the radiator to be amplified, and also directly into the chassis. In our opinion, it is the little things that make all the difference in the world, and not only to performance, but to the user experience as well.

At this point, we have reviewed only one other version in the Nepton series from Cooler Master, the Nepton 280L. What we found in the Nepton 280L was a larger radiator using a dual 140mm fan configuration. The Nepton 280L performed very admirably, was easy to install, and looked rather good with the white LED logo lit up on the head unit. This leaves us with high hopes for the latest of the Nepton coolers to hit our lab, the Nepton 240M. While we do not expect the Nepton 240M to overtake its larger brother, with all the testing we have done, we feel we have a good handle on where it should land in our charts. From what we have already seen so far with this cooler, we feel Cooler Master is not only capable of keeping up with all of its cousins in the market, but also offers everything you need and then some.

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Following the chart supplied by Cooler Master, we start off with the RL-N24M-24PK-R1 model number given to the Nepton 240M. The model number is followed by a socket compatibility list that covers all Intel processors back to, and including LGA775; the cooler is also compatible with any AMD socket since AM2+. Next, we dive right into the radiator specifications, where we see it is 274mm long, 119mm in width, and is the standard 27mm thick. We also see that this unit sports an aluminum radiator like most other AIOs.

When it comes to the head unit on this system, we see that it is 75mm from the end of the fittings to the other side of the block, 69.8mm in the other direction, and it stands 49.1mm tall. It uses a solid copper base plate (as they all do), and when drawing 4.8W via a three-pin connection (running at full speed), it should be no louder than 15 dB(A).

Along with the radiator and head unit, we need some fans to cool it all off; Cooler Master has supplied a pair of A12025-24RB-4BP-F1 120mm fans for that task. These fans are black; the frame is black, the blades and hub are black, and even the stickers are black at the right angle. These fans can spin at speeds ranging from 800 to 2400 RPM with the potential to deliver 76 CFM each through the radiator. The fans sport a low 27 dB(A) rating for noise, and we do like the 4.8 mmH2O listed for their static pressure. These fans are also supported with a loop dynamic bearing, and should run in your system for 160,000 hours. That is like 18 years of run time. We are going to assume that an extra "0" was added to this number by mistake.

It seems that the Cooler Master Nepton 240M is widely available, as it is listed in many places we tend to shop around in, appearing both in the big name locations and some of the lesser known e-tailers. We also see a wide range of pricing associated with this cooler. While Amazon is sticking nearer to the MSRP with their $129.99 offering with free shipping, we found much better deals. If you look for this cooler over at Newegg, you will find that not only is the base price listed at $119.99, but they are currently offering it for only $99.99. Taking it even one step further, they are also currently offering a mail-in rebate deal that takes another $10 off that pricing. While the $119 to $129 pricing is expected for such a cooler, as always, it is very wise to shop around to get the best deal possible.

PRICING: You can find the Cooler Master Nepton 240M for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing, but can change at any time. Click the link to see the very latest pricing for the best deal.

United States: The Cooler Master Nepton 240M retails for $115.06 at Amazon.

Packaging

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In typical Cooler Master fashion, the Nepton 240M comes shipped in a black and purple box. On the front of the packaging, we see the naming and a large image of the cooler, but we also see a tag for the five-year warranty. At the bottom there are notations for the maintenance free design, the Ultrafine base plate, and durable FEP tubing under the corrugated plastic.

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The downfall of the pretty chromed lettering is that it is very hard to view at some angles, but we can still make out the image of the cooler in the middle, and the lower section of text.

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The back of the box offers multilingual listings of features like the pure copper base, the micro channels, the fact it is factory filled and sealed, and the durable and powerful pump. The lower section features a temperature chart to the left, and there are dimensional renderings to the right, so you can confirm this cooler will fit into your chassis.

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That just leaves us with the purple side of the box. Along with the logo and product naming at the top, this panel offers a full specifications chart like the one we just covered. In this chart we can see the fan rating is only 70,000 hours, but that is still nearly eight years.

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The Nepton 240M is packaged just like the rest of the Cooler Master coolers. All of the components are wrapped in plastic and set into their own compartments so that no damage can occur in transit unless the box is completely crushed. As for this particular cooler, it arrived in perfect shape and ready for us to review.

Cooler Master Nepton 240M AIO CPU Cooler

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Starting at the head unit, we find a more contoured and rounded design to the squared off head unit. All of the plastic is textured with the exception of a backlit logo centered in the top of the head unit; when the unit is powered, the logo glows brightly from the white LEDs under it.

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The Nepton 240M uses plastic ninety-degree swivel fittings, and they are a bit stiff and tougher to orient. Since the tubing has to be enlarged to stretch over the fittings, the corrugated plastic starts after the fitting at both ends.

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On the opposite side of the fittings, the power lead comes out very near the bottom of the head unit. The nine inch run of cable is sleeved, and terminates in a four-pin connection with only three wires running through it.

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Under the head unit, we find Cooler Master has protected the base from accidental scratches and potential oxidation with this clear sticker that must be removed prior to installation.

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The base is left in a roughly milled state, it is convex, and it definitely deflects more at the edges. Also, in the plastic at the top and bottom of the plate, we see two holes that will secure the mounting hardware.

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Between the radiator and the head unit, we found this kit comes with thirteen inches of tubing. While certainly not the longest on the market, it will afford plenty of length to get this radiator installed without pulling on the tubing.

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The tubing on the radiator end of the AIO is handled the same way as it is with the head unit, as expected. Cooler Master also went with a larger fill port on their radiator, and the sticker near it plainly states that tampering with it will not bode well for any warranty claims.

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It doesn't take a tape measure in front of this radiator to see this design also uses the high FPI radiator design. This is why the fans need such a high static pressure rating to do any good with the design. We also notice that unlike those designs with offsets built into the radiator, this design has no stop plate for the fan screws, so be careful not to damage the fins.

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The side of the radiator has a side plate riveted to it, and this gives Cooler Master the opportunity to print the name of the cooler here in white paint so that it stands out inside of the chassis, even if it is an unlit chassis.

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Before we get too far into the hardware and the build process, we did want to add the fans and the gasket to show the Nepton 240M almost ready to go into any system.

Accessories and Documentation

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Digging into a large bag of hardware and goodies, we first pulled out the thick black rubber gasket that sits on the radiator. The fans nestle into the gasket before they are screwed into place. We also have the AMD mounting brackets in the left hole, and the set for Intel mounting to the right.

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In individual bags, we find a set of eight 30mm fan screws, LGA2011 mounting hardware, 25mm fan screws, and shorter screws for mounting the cooler to the chassis. The bottom row offers a look at the screws and clips used with the back plate, and to the right are bracket mounting screws, universal standoffs, and a tube of Cooler Master thermal paste.

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We are given a steel back plate that is for Intel mounting on one side, and when flipped over, it works with AMD sockets. We are also given a Y-splitter cable to allow both fans on the radiator to be powered from the same source.

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With the angle we happened to be at, the chrome lettering fails to show up once again, but it was visible in the previous image. These A12025-24RB-4BP-F1, 120mm fans have five sickle-shaped blades to deliver the specifications we saw earlier. Also, both fans are powered via four-pin connections, and the fan leads are sleeved to match the one on the head unit.

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The user guide is full of information about what parts should be in the kit, and quick explanations of the installation process. To be honest, the text is not really necessary since the renderings do a great job of showing you what needs to be done. We are provided with information on what is, and what is not covered in the five-year warranty period.

Installation and Finished Product

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Since the head unit ships without mounting hardware, we took the pair of Intel brackets, slid them into the sides of the head unit, and screwed them into place with two screws for each half of the bracket. With long slots at the ends of the brackets, the mounting screws will slide to align with all Intel sockets it is compatible with.

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When you go to use the back plate, either the AMD or Intel naming should be visible to help with orientation when the plate is on the motherboard. It offers isolation material on both sides, and you also need to install the screws and clips into the ends in the appropriate locations for your socket of choice.

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With the back plate now ready, we dropped it onto the back of the motherboard, and it shows the Intel moniker facing outward when installed in the proper way.

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This set of thick standoffs has to be installed to hold the back plate onto the motherboard. They offer washers at the bottom so the motherboard will not be damaged, and you can make sure everything is good and tight.

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Now all we have to do is add the thermal paste, set the head unit on the CPU, alternate the screws, and send them into the standoffs until they run out of threads. At this point, the unit is very solidly mounted, and should have no play at all.

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When it comes to making sure not to encroach on other motherboard components, the Nepton 240M passes with flying colors. We can obviously see there is plenty of room for all memory slots, even if you have some crazy thick spreaders on them.

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This image definitely shows the amount of distance the radiator can be away from the motherboard, as the top of our D-frame is much higher than 95% of the cases out there, and will even allow for front mounted applications. Now all we need to do is fire this rig up so we can get to the results.

Test System Setup, Thermal Tests, and Noise Results

Test System Setup

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I would first like to thank ASUS, InWin, Patriot, 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.

Thermal Results

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At idle, the Nepton 240M kept the processor at 26.5 degrees, but once the stock clock load was applied, we found the Nepton 240M did well with a 49.5 degree result. Getting into the top ten in our charts is rather tough, but the Nepton 240M made a serious run for it, and we find these results to be respectable.

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At idle, we found no difference in temperature compared to stock clocks, but with the overclock applied, the temperatures moved up to 69.42 degrees on average. While thirteenth place doesn't seem that great, keep in mind that it is only about 3.5 degrees from first.

Noise Level Results

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With 7.5V supplied to the fans, AIDA was reporting a speed of 2486 RPM, and the pump was spinning at 2600 RPM as well. The pump cannot be heard over the fans, and as for this pair, they gave us a 33 dB reading on the meter.

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With the fans set lose to do what they do, we found them turning at 2356 RPM, and delivering 52 dB of noise into our office. We do like that these aren't obnoxiously loud when in use, and with the rubber gasket in play, there is no way for the chassis or the radiator to amplify the harmonics.

Final Thoughts

While the Cooler Master Nepton 240M is based upon the typical AIO design and layout, we find it is a very appealing kit. Of course, it uses a 27mm thick aluminum radiator with very tight fins, but the fans that are shipped with this cooler are both tolerable, and very capable of delivering good results. They may have went with the corrugated covering rather than plain tubing, but we get that it is an anti-kink measure, and it also keeps the tubing away from heat sources or anything that may puncture it. The head unit does appeal to us, as it is not the typical flat square or hockey puck that we are used to seeing.

Cooler Master took their time to offer a clean, yet stylish design that does not get so flashy as to take away from the white LED lit logo that takes up the majority of the top. The addition of the isolation gasket for the fans takes things a bit further than most, and helps keep noise levels down and vibrations at bay. Cooler Master also offers some of the nicest and most solid hardware in the game.

In our opinion, the downside to this model is minimal. We could pick it apart for not being super silent, but it wasn't designed for silence, nor was it claimed to be silent in the first place. We could also say that it wasn't a chart topper, but with less than four degrees separating this cooler from the lead, and considering there are much larger and more capable contenders ahead of it, we feel the performance is where it should be. We could also complain that the head unit appears bulkier than many other offerings, but since it stays very clear of the memory, motherboard screws, and top PCI-e slot, it is more of a visual observation than a complaint.

Another thing we cannot complain about is the availability and current pricing. Of course, this cooler released with the same $129.99 MSRP that all other 240mm AIOs in this class are listed at, but that doesn't mean we have to spend that amount to enjoy what Cooler Master is offering with the 240M. You can feel free to pay the $129.99 price you will see below this article, but if we were on the hunt to obtain this cooler, we would be doing everything in our power to take full advantage of the $89.99 pricing that we discussed earlier.

Considering all of the factors currently at play, it is really hard to fault Cooler Master or the Nepton 240M. If you shop smartly, you can get quite a lot of cooling power for very little investment, and what is not to like there?

PRICING: You can find the Cooler Master Nepton 240M for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing, but can change at any time. Click the link to see the very latest pricing for the best deal.

United States: The Cooler Master Nepton 240M retails for $115.06 at Amazon.

TweakTown award
Performance92%
Quality including Design and Build94%
General Features96%
Bundle and Packaging99%
Value for Money98%
Overall96%

The Bottom Line: Currently found for less than $90, the Nepton 240M not only offers all you will need in a dual radiator AIO and then some, but also packs quite a bit of power for the price.

PRICING: You can find products similar to this one for sale below.

USUnited States: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.com

UKUnited Kingdom: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.co.uk

AUAustralia: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.com.au

CACanada: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.ca

DEDeutschland: Finde andere Technik- und Computerprodukte wie dieses auf Amazon.de

After a year of gaming, Chad caught the OC bug. With overclocking comes the need for better cooling, and Chad has had many air and water setups. With a few years of abusing computer parts, he decided to take his chances and try to get a review job. As an avid overclocker, Chad is always looking for the next leg up in RAM, cooling, as well as peripherals.

We openly invite the companies who provide us with review samples / who are mentioned or discussed to express their opinion. If any company representative wishes to respond, we will publish the response here. Please contact us if you wish to respond.

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