Just Visiting
Saturday | October 16, 2021
Cooler Master Nepton 280L Liquid CPU Cooler Review

Cooler Master Nepton 280L Liquid CPU Cooler Review

Recently we took a look at a bundle of Cooler Master components which included their Silencio case, gold rated PSU and the Seidon cooler. That cooler really stood out for us with its simple install and decent performance… but it was an entry level cooler. Today we have the Nepton 280L on our test bench which we hope takes that same installation and adds a whole whack of performance for the high end user. Let’s find out…

Packaging and Bundle

coolermaster-nepton-280l-box coolermaster-nepton-280l-packing

The Nepton arrives in a box which uses familiar Cooler Master design, also giving us a decent image of the product along with some key specifications. Inside the cooler is wrapped in plastic and suspended in cardboard for added protection.


Bundled with the cooler we get two 140mm fans with rubber dampeners pre-attached. These fans are Cooler Master branded and called JetFlo. They feature 7 fan blades running at up to 2000RPM producing airflow of 122.5CFM. Noise level is a maximum of 39dBA and our bearing type is rifle. Cooler Master also note that their blade design is optimised for concentrated airflow and enhanced performance (with low noise). Also included in the package is the instruction booklet, thermal paste, installation components (All recent AMD and Intel) and a fan cable which converts two fans to one header.

The Nepton 280L

coolermaster-nepton-280l-pump coolermaster-nepton-280l-block

The main component of the Nepton 280L is the CPU block with its built in pump. On top we have a Cooler Master logo with LED outline. On the base we have a copper plate with microchannel design between that and the coolant. The pump itself is designed by Cooler Master designed and measures 75×69.8×49.1mm. It has a life expectancy of 70,000 hours, noise level of <25dBA and a power draw of 2.9W

The pump is connected to our aluminium radiator by two 13.7mm FEP tubes. In terms of dimensions the radiator is 311x139x30mm and as well as the 14cm fan mounts we have 12cm holes too. Cooler Master also note that their design uses 2x the coolant of other designs with 35% higher pump flow rate.

Install and Performance

coolermaster-nepton-280l-install coolermaster-nepton-280l-install2

Cooler Master use a universal bracket on the Nepton 280L, on everything but socket 2011. Either way we end up with the same configuration, four screws surrounding the CPU socket. We then add the Intel or AMD bracket to our CPU block.

coolermaster-nepton-280l-install3 coolermaster-nepton-280l-fans2

Next we add our thermal paste and screw the fans to the radiator using the stylish bundled screws. We then screw the radiator into our case (4 screws total) before securing the CPU block to our backplate screws with four bolts. Next we connect the fan/pump power to our motherboard and the cooler is in place.

Notable Test Components: Gigabyte Z97X Gaming 5/i7-4790K CPU.

[kml_flashembed publishmethod=”static” fversion=”8.0.0″ movie=”https://www.hardwareheaven.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/cooler-master-nepton-temps1.swf” width=”640″ height=”360″ targetclass=”flashmovie” wmode=”opaque”] cooler-master-nepton-temps1 [/kml_flashembed]


[kml_flashembed publishmethod=”static” fversion=”8.0.0″ movie=”https://www.hardwareheaven.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/cooler-master-nepton-temps2.swf” width=”640″ height=”360″ targetclass=”flashmovie” wmode=”opaque”] cooler-master-nepton-temps2 [/kml_flashembed]


Starting with the build quality of the Nepton 280L we have a very impressive unit. Yes the pump cover is plastic and yes the radiator is pretty standard but elsewhere we get a lot of quality. Cooler Master go the extra mile with the tubing width for example and even the screws used here are top notch with a lovely finish on those used for the fan mounting.

Elsewhere on the design the unit looks good with an LED finish on the top of the CPU block and the fan design is a little different from the norm which is also a bonus. Most of all though we like the Cooler Master mounting components. It makes installing the Nepton very easy but most importantly all the key parts are metal. So often we find that manufacturers skimp on this and we end up with backplates which start to bend, or parts which don’t lock in place correctly through multiple installs. That won’t be a problem here and considering the price is very good at £89/$139 Cooler Master haven’t raised prices when maximising the quality.

Performance too is very good. In fact the Nepton 280L has the best performance (out of the box) of any liquid cooler we have tested to date. The noise levels are decent for a cooler of this performance level and the pump is near silent which is great.


Well designed, good appearance, easy install and great performance. A cooler worthy of our gold award.

Gold Award

Newegg.com – $139.99
Dabs.com – £89.92

About Author

Stuart Davidson


  1. I have It (280L 2) on my Phenom x6 1100BE (4.3GHz and 48deg celsius) in 4.5 4.6 4.7GHz never go above 55degree
    Mobo is Sabertooth 990FX

  2. share my setup that i7 4790k idle=37c ans OC@4.6=78c. mobo ga H87m 3hd.

  3. Slade122

    Notice the lack of documentation of software used to stress the CPU.

It appears you have AdBlocking activated

Unfortunately AdBlockers interfere with the shopping cart process

To continue with the payment process can we ask you to

deactivate your AdBlocking plugin

or to whitelist this site. Then refresh the page

We thank you for your understanding

Hardwareheaven respect you right to employ plugins such as AdBlocker.
We would however ask you to consider whitelisting this site
We do not allow intrusive advertising and all our sponsors supply items
relevant to the content on the site.

Hardwareheaven Webmaster