Cooler Master’s Nepton 240M liquid cooler reviewed

I’ve always been fascinated by liquid-cooling setups for PCs. When I started building my own computers about a decade ago, liquid cooling had an exotic mystique. It was the mark of the most dedicated enthusiast, a mad-scientist-y whirl of custom water blocks, home-brewed tubing setups, and radiators pressed into Frankensteinian service from wherever they could be found.

Those mad scientists are still out there, but liquid cooling has become much more egalitarian of late. There’s a dizzying array of closed-loop liquid coolers, or CLCs, available to the PC builder. CLCs do away with the complexity of fully custom loops in favor of plug-and-play designs.

That brings me to the cooler I’m looking at today, Cooler Master’s $130 Nepton 240M. The Neptons represent the high end of Cooler Master’s CLC lineup. These offerings include larger-diameter flexible tubing, higher-quality fans, and a more advanced water block design than the company’s less expensive Seidon CLCs. With a 240-mm radiator, the Nepton 240M should have enough thermal capacity to handle even the hottest-running of today’s processors. Let’s take a look at the goodies Cooler Master has packaged with the Nepton 240M, and then we’ll put it in the hot seat.

Overview

At first glance, it’s easy to dismiss CLCs as a “seen one, seen ’em all” deal, but that would be a mistake. While the general principles remain the same from one to the next—an integrated pump and water block unit circulates coolant through a sealed radiator loop—there’s still plenty of room for manufacturers to put their own spins on the concept.

Let’s start with a look at the pump and water block on the Nepton. According to Cooler Master, the water block in the Nepton series features “ultra-fine micro channel” technology, which makes for an internal surface area that’s four times larger than water blocks from “the competition.” While I can’t tear into the Nepton 240M to verify this claim, more surface area in the water block should make for better heat dissipation, so long as the ultra-fine fins don’t impede coolant flow.

The copper mating surface on the water block isn’t polished to a mirror sheen. Instead, it’s ever-so-slightly grooved, perhaps to ensure that thermal paste can be squished into contact with as much of the plate as possible.

The pump inside the Nepton 240M isn’t a run-of-the-mill unit, either. Cooler Master says it can move 120 liters of coolant per hour while producing only 11 dBA of noise. The company doesn’t say how it arrived at this impressive noise figure, but the cheaper Seidon 120V has a vaguer “less than 23 dBA” noise rating, so the Nepton pump should be noticeably quieter than its sibling. (In my experience, the Seidon’s pump is pretty coarse-sounding.) When the Nepton 240M is powered on, a white LED illuminates the Cooler Master logo on the pump, too. Fancy.

The business end of the Nepton 240M is its 240-mm radiator. This heat exchanger is joined to the pump by a pair of flexible, ribbed tubes. True to Cooler Master’s specs, these tubes have a noticeably larger diameter than those used on the Seidon 120V. The radiator is about as thick as the Seidon’s—just doubled in length. Out of the box, the radiator had zero bent fins, which I find reassuring from a quality-control standpoint.

There’s a fill port on the radiator, but it’s plastered with “warranty void if removed” stickers. (This is a sealed system, after all.) Should a problem arise with your Nepton 240M, Cooler Master backs up the Nepton line with a five-year warranty.

Left: the Silencio 120. Right: the Seidon 120V’s stock fan.

On the active-cooling front, two of Cooler Master’s new Silencio 120 fans ship with the Nepton 240M. In contrast to the seven-bladed fans packaged with the Seidon 120V, these 120-mm blowers each have five broad blades with much more aggressively swept tips. True to their name, the Silencios are rated to produce only 11 dBA of noise in operation. Cooler Master includes a rubber gasket that’s designed to sit between the fans and the radiator, hopefully dampening unwanted vibrations from these air movers.

The final element CLC buyers will likely consider is CPU socket compatibility. Cooler Master includes mounting hardware to secure the Nepton 240M to virtually every Intel and AMD socket that one might find in use today, from LGA775 and Socket AM2 to LGA2011 and Socket FM2+.

Overall, the Nepton 240M appears to have all of the right stuff for a high-end CLC. It comes at a price, though. Cooler Master’s MSRP for the Nepton 240M is $129.99, which is about $15 more expensive than the best 240mm CLCs from Corsair and other manufacturers.  Let’s hope that its performance matches this lofty figure.

Next, I’m going to strap the Nepton 240M to a processor and see how logical and user-friendly the mounting system is.

 

Installation

For my testing, I mated the Nepton 240M to my version of TR’s Casewarmer, which is built around an AMD A10-7850K processor with a 95W thermal envelope. The 7850K is installed in a Socket FM2+ motherboard, the MSI A88XI AC.

While the Nepton 240M’s mounting hardware differs from socket to socket, the process starts with a universal backplate. The rest of the pieces for each specific socket type are mounted on top of this plate.

First, I clipped the appropriate quartet of bolts to the universal backplate before threading them through the mounting holes in the motherboard. I then secured the backplate to the motherboard using the four female-female nuts provided. This solution is much better thought-out than the Seidon 120V’s. That cooler’s mounting bracket is free to fall back out of the motherboard at this stage. The Nepton 240M’s intermediate nuts also provide a more solid foundation for the water block. The Seidon 120V’s pump can twist around on the processor if too much stress is placed on the coolant hoses, since there’s nothing directly securing the bracket to the motherboard.

Next, I secured the proper brackets for AMD sockets to the pump block with four screws. This process is a little more involved than it is with the Seidon 120V, whose mounting bracket simply slips over the top of the water block.

After applying the included thermal paste to the processor’s heat spreader, I screwed each of the four spring-loaded bolts into their complementary nuts, using the star pattern suggested by the manual to achieve an even clamping force.

As you can see above, the Nepton 240M is a very tight fit on the A88XI AC (and probably other mini-ITX motherboards, as well). The fittings for the pump clear the RAM by about half a millimeter. If you’re thinking about a Nepton for your mini-ITX build, be very careful about the RAM you choose. The Nepton’s pump might run into over-wide heatspreaders.

Finally, I mounted the system inside my testbed case, the Corsair Carbide Series Air 240. (Keep an eye out for my review of this case soon.) I set up the fans as intakes to ensure the CPU would be cooled by the freshest air possible.

I tried to mount the radiator using the rubber vibration-dampening gasket, but keeping the fan-gasket-radiator sandwich together during installation proved impossible. In the end, I set the gasket aside. Builders setting up the Nepton 240M with the fans on exhaust duty will probably have an easier time.

Let’s now fire up Prime95 and see how the Nepton handles the A10-7850K switching away beneath its water block.

 

Our testing methods

After a short breather, the Casewarmer is back in action. Here are its specs, for reference:

Processor AMD A10-7850K
Motherboard MSI A88XI AC
Memory 8GB AMD DDR3-1600 (2x 4GB DIMMs)
Graphics card Zotac GeForce GTX 660 Ti AMP! Edition
Storage Kingston HyperX 120GB SSD
Power supply Cooler Master V550
OS Windows 8.1 Pro

A big thanks again to MSI, AMD, Zotac, and Kingston for contributing some of their excellent hardware for my use—and to Cooler Master for providing me with the V550 PSU and Seidon 120V.

As I’ve documented, the fan control situation on the MSI A88XI AC isn’t the best. Despite the limitations of the MSI firmware, I was able to create proper fan profiles for the Nepton 240M and Seidon 120V, which I used in each cooler’s respective test cycle.

To put the heat on these CLCs, I subjected each one to the following test cycle:

  • 10 minutes idling at the Windows 8.1 desktop
  • 20 minutes of the Prime95 CPU torture test
  • 10 minutes idling at the Windows 8.1 desktop

Sensor data was logged using AIDA64 Engineer. Ambient temperature at the time of my tests was about 74°F (23.3°C).

The tests and methods we employ are publicly available and reproducible. If you have questions about our methods, join us on our forums to discuss them.

Cooling performance

Here are temperature results for each cooler, plotted over time. For comparison purposes, I also ran my test cycle with the Seidon 120V. I set up the Seidon in the same location as the Nepton, with the fan configured as an intake.

And here are some minimum and maximum temperatures from my test cycle:

I was expecting a slightly greater difference in performance between the two coolers, as the Nepton 240M has twice the surface area of the Seidon 120V. Even so, the Nepton kept the A10-7850K plenty cool, with temperature rising only 15°C from idle to load. What these charts don’t tell you is that the Nepton delivered these results with the fans at idle for the entire 40-minute testing period. Bonkers.

The Seidon, with its area disadvantage, did have to spin up its fan a bit in order to keep things cool. Despite that fact, and despite lacking the fancy pump and larger tubing of the Nepton, the Seidon didn’t fall far behind its bigger brother. The results might be different once overclocking enters the picture, but the A88XI AC won’t overclock APUs with a 95W TDP. A shame, since I would have liked to really push both of these coolers. I have a more overclocking-friendly motherboard heading my way, but it didn’t arrive in time for this review.

Noise levels

To gather data on the noise produced by these CLCs, I’m once again relying on the iOS app dB meter. Take the results with the appropriate grain of salt. Each measurement was made 6″ from the case.

I love it when a piece of hardware leaves me very little to say. The Nepton 240M is a good example. Look at these noise numbers:


That’s what happens when your CPU cooler doesn’t have to move its fans off idle to keep things cool. This is outstanding performance, and it’s actually a little unnverving. I’m so used to CPU fans whining away under Prime95 loads that I had to double-check the Casewarmer several times to make sure something was actually happening. The Seidon is pretty closely matched against the Nepton when both coolers are at idle, but the 240M wins by not having to stretch itself under load.

Subjectively, the Nepton is a better-sounding cooler than the Seidon 120V. There’s still a minor hum from the pump, but it’s less “chuggy” and slightly quieter, which makes it easier to ignore. The Nepton’s included Silencio 120 fans are also much more refined than the basic Cooler Master unit supplied with the Seidon. The Silencios have a smooth, broad-spectrum noise character, and they’re virtually inaudible at idle unless one’s ear is pressed against the front of the case.

I’ll gladly tolerate the slight noise from the Nepton’s pump, since it’s the only audible sound from this cooler (at least when the CPU underneath is at stock clock speeds). If everything in my PC was this quiet, I’d be pinching myself.

 

Conclusions

The liquid-cooling mad scientists to whom I paid homage at the beginning of my review might disavow the Nepton 240M, but they might also admit a grudging respect for a product that makes harnessing the power of liquid cooling so easy—and performs so well.

The Nepton 240M’s Silencio 120 fans are a noticeable step up from the basic spinner of the Seidon 120V, and the ritzier pump technology in the Nepton makes for a smoother-sounding, quieter experience, as well. The 240M’s mounting system is logical and a snap to install. When compared to the Seidon 120V, the Nepton’s extra radiator area allowed it to keep the AMD A10-7850K cooler under load without moving its fans off idle. Astounding.

My only problem—and I’m really stretching here—was with the Nepton 240M’s rubber fan gasket. Working with that gasket was annoying enough that I eventually set it aside. While my tests didn’t cause the fans to spin up at all, demanding overclocks might be a different story, and I’ll be curious to see whether the gasket signficantly affects the 240M’s noise character in those situations. If it does, Cooler Master might want to make this gasket easier to install in situations where the fans can’t be secured to the radiator first.

All told, though, I’d put a Nepton 240M in my own PC without hesitation. Well, maybe a little hesitation. $130 is a lot to ask for a CPU cooler, but the Nepton delivers performance equal to its lofty price. The only open question I have is how well the Nepton stands up to an overclocked CPU. In the unlikely event that the 240M stumbles with a hot-clocked processor underneath, I reserve the right to change my mind. But for now, the Nepton 240M is TR Recommended.

Comments closed
    • Jeff Kampman
    • 5 years ago

    For those interested, I got a motherboard in yesterday from Gigabyte, the [url=http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128653<]G1.Sniper A88X[/url<], that can overclock the A10-7850K. I set up the Casewarmer with this new motherboard today and got to overclocking with the Nepton. As of right now, I've got the 7850K running at 4.6GHz with 1.44V. With Prime95 FFTs and the Unigine Valley benchmark running simultaneously, the Nepton is keeping things around 62-65C. Not bad, seems like.

      • f0d
      • 5 years ago

      not to knock you for testing with an overclocked A10-7850k but it isnt exactly the best cpu to test for cooling ability of a watercooler

      something bigger and produces more heat like a socket 2011 cpu would be better as it doesnt really show the capabilities of a cooler with that A10

      • f0d
      • 5 years ago

      scott has some new hardware to replace his 3820 test system maybe you could see about getting that old 3820 pumping 1.45v into it and using that as a cooling test station?

        • Jeff Kampman
        • 5 years ago

        I’ll ask 😉

    • DPete27
    • 5 years ago

    My biggest gripe with my Seidon 120V is the hoses. They’re SO STIFF. Were the hoses on the Nepton any more flexible?

    Also, I thought the stock fan on the Seidon was awful (loud/noisy) so I replaced it with a Cougar Vortex fan. After the fan swap, I didn’t even notice the pump noise.

      • Jeff Kampman
      • 5 years ago

      The hoses on the Nepton are still stiffer than I’d like, but they were a little more flexible than those on the Seidon.

    • LoneWolf15
    • 5 years ago

    I have yet to see a closed-loop water cooler that is significantly better than a high quality air cooler without ramping up the fans much higher and creating more noise. Every time they get compared to the best from Thermalright, Prolimatech, and Noctua, it seems they cost more without really delivering more.

    When they do, sign me up. Until then, my Thermalright TRUE Black with dual 120mm fans has done the job through Q9450, Q9650, i5-2500, i7-2600K, and i7-4790K without breaking a sweat.

      • rUmX
      • 5 years ago

      It’s all about the low profile. Having a CLC makes tinkering inside your computer more convenient. For example, having a huge tower cooler makes it a pain to get to the 8pin power connector.

      • Chrispy_
      • 5 years ago

      I agree with you entirely.

      If you completely ignore noise concerns, good AIO liquid cooling at max fan and pump levels can outcool even high-end air coolers, but you have to be prepared to push your voltage, power consumption and fan noise way up to reach that extra 5-10%.

      Is it really worth it? Especially when graphics cards are the bottleneck for most things?

    • UberGerbil
    • 5 years ago

    I’v never fooled with water cooling at all, and probably never will, but my latest case has the grommet-holes for the tubing, which leads me to a newb question: these AIO deals are fully sealed, right? So there’s no way to pull the tubes off to thread them through the case if you wanted to put the radiator on the outside (at least not without voiding whatever warranty you might have)?

      • Jeff Kampman
      • 5 years ago

      That’s correct.

        • Vaughn
        • 5 years ago

        Correct for most not all.

        I believe swiftech AIO’s allow you to swap hoses and drain them so you could install that in your case with the grommets.

    • hasseb64
    • 5 years ago

    Do not see the hype with liquid cooling.
    1. For every new generation CPU less heat is produced (the GPU part is seldom used for hard-core DIY)
    2.Pump is always needed even at idle CPU.
    3. Performance gain over an air cooled CPU is not that big, if we speak about normally overcloceked CPUs
    4. Durability compared to a aircooled system is not good.

    I see one area that could be intresting: very compact mini-atx systems

      • f0d
      • 5 years ago

      AIO watercoolers are just a step up from aftermarket air coolers

      if you are not overclocking (or in some cases want a super quiet system) then you dont need an aftermarket air cooler either, a standard cooler will do the job just fine at stock speeds

      most of the people that run their CPU at standard clocks are just fine with the standard cooler

      the HYPE with watercooling comes into play when you can get much better overclocks and much better temperatures than with a heatsink

    • DrCR
    • 5 years ago

    Those hard 90° elbow connectors … [i<]shudder[/i<]. I guess I'm a "mad scientist".

    • bjm
    • 5 years ago

    The level of improvement in these newer AIO coolers is very impressive. To be honest, they make cooling your CPU with a custom water loop a very hard sell. The performance you get from today’s dual 120/140 radiators rivals what you will get from a custom loop at half the cost and many times more in convenience.

    Once you start getting in the realm of ~10c over ambient for cooling a 200w CPU at full load, then you’re already approaching the limit of water cooling (unless you regularly put ice in your reservoir or something). FrostyTech recently reviewed the CM Nepton 280L and it reached 10.6c on their 200w 38x38mm test. With performance like that at this price ($89.99 after rebate on NewEgg), there’s no reason to build a custom loop except for curiosity or using custom GPU waterblocks (but even that is changing, with the brackets for mounting CPU AIOs to GPUs).

    My only remaining concern is the long-term reliability of the pumps in these AIOs. They’re priced at a point now where you can buy multiple AIOs for the price of a custom loop, but longer warranties on these would definitely be welcome.

      • f0d
      • 5 years ago

      i have both a custom water loop pc and a AIO watercooler htpc and i can tell you right now there is a big difference
      just as much of a difference (or even more) than there is between a good heatsink and a AIO system

      although at standard or slightly overclocked speeds there isnt much difference when you get to the big overclocks and over long durations there is a definite difference

      my brother has the same cpu as me (3930k) but on a h100i and its much hotter than mine (around 70degrees at standard speeds after an hour of linx or prime95) which i can get at around 4.75ghz (125 bclk strap) at the same time in the same house with the same air temps
      there is probably some chip lottery luck going on there but even then thats a big difference

      custom cooling isnt for everyone but the current AIO systems can do much better – especially with the radiators being so very thin (mine is 4X as thick as most AIO radiators)

      are AIO systems good? yep im not knocking them they are great for the price
      are they as good as custom? nope

        • bjm
        • 5 years ago

        Now here’s the kicker: What is the total cost of your custom loop?

        In regards to the radiator thickness, its a trade off. A thicker radiator would require a higher CFM fan and add additional noise. I do agree that AIOs can still improve, of course. It is still a growing market and I’m sure they’re trying to keep case compatibility high with many of these models.

        But that being said, the ambient room temperature will always be the limit of water cooling. At a certain point, additional radiator cooling will not help–especially given the decreasing heat output from processors today (and in the future).

        Custom water cooling loops will always have the potential to cool better than AIOs, but the cost value (in both time and money) for them is reducing. They will be relegated to more extreme setups like cooling Haswell-E components.

        I hate to say it, but this Christmas some 12 yr. old kid will be able to buy an AIO using his grandparent’s gift money in a few seconds online for under $100 and have it out perform a custom loop built a few years ago that took 1-2 hours to build for over $200.

          • f0d
          • 5 years ago

          the cost? in the hundreds of dollars for what im using but im not doubting they are more expensive – i even said in my post for the price AIO’s are excellent

          with radiator thickness you can still have slower fans and less noise with low fpi radiators (fins per inch) like the rx360 that i have which still perform just as well as high fpi radiators at low rpms and close to the same performance at high rpm but not quite as good

          most of what you wrote i dont doubt – AIO do have much more value and standard cpu’s are getting cooler and cooler but i just know for a fact they they cannot perform as well as a custom loop from even a few years ago (most people use similar stuff in their custom loops now as they did 2 or 3 years ago)

          fyi this is what i have in my system and most of the parts are from around 3 years ago
          laing d5s pump
          xspc rx360 rad
          xspc raystorm water block
          ek reservoir
          1/2′ primoflex tubing
          bitspower fittings

          now even though those parts are old i can guarantee it will be much better than ANY AIO system

          AIO’s are great but they are not as good as custom – that is the only thing i disagree with
          AIO’s are better for the price
          AIO’s are easier to install
          AIO’s have great performance (not better than custom but still great)
          AIO’s are the best thing to happen for your average overclocker and enthusiast

            • bjm
            • 5 years ago

            Ah yeah, I think we’re saying the same in the end.

            To clarify, I didn’t want to imply that AIOs are better than custom loops in absolute terms. They are not. Rather, they are better than custom loops in the cost/performance ratio category. Ya know–the sweet spot! I think that category is 10c-15c above ambient for a 200w -250w load. Any cooling beyond that will show a diminishing return in cost/performance.

            I’m just enthused and impressed by how far water cooling has come in the mainstream. Back when folks were going to junk yards to get a heater core and using a water pump from their grandma’s garden fountain, a custom loop was the only way to get that level of performance. Now, it’s very accessible and reaching an impressive level of performance. Honestly, I just never thought I’d see the day where water cooling would be so mainstream.

      • CMRajiv
      • 5 years ago

      We’re really standing behind our Nepton with the 5 year warranty and the fact we actually manufacture our own AIOs means we can provide the support much more efficiently.

        • bjm
        • 5 years ago

        Sweet! I must’ve missed the memo that they were extended. I thought they were still 2-years. Thanks for the heads up!

    • Anovoca
    • 5 years ago

    Pft, air-cooling your water radiator with fans is so 2013. You got to incepticool that beast. Strap twin-water pumps to that radiator yoo.

    • Firestarter
    • 5 years ago

    [quote<]In the unlikely event that the 240M stumbles with a hot-clocked processor underneath[/quote<] My understanding is that this happens frequently with very high overclocks, and that you need to choose your cooler to fit your thermal load if you want to prevent hitting this wall. A cooler that's good for 150W might choke hard on 250W, and that's no good if you have a 150W CPU that you're looking to overclock.

    • tbone8ty
    • 5 years ago

    wait what? Techreport did a cpu cooler review! awesome. good job. now test it with some overclocking and maybe a bigger beast like a FX-8370

      • Vaughn
      • 5 years ago

      Second this.

      Would like to see this tested on higher end cpu’s alteast 8 core FX for AMD and 4/6core Haswell for intel.

      Also any chance of getting a swiftech unit in ?

        • Waco
        • 5 years ago

        This. Testing a 240mm AIO cooler on a 95 watt CPU non-overclocked pretty much defeats the point.

        Sure, it’s more quiet, but there are a bajillion coolers on the market that’ll do that for less cost and with higher reliability.

        Throw a 9590 under that thing and see how it does…or a 5960X…

    • Waco
    • 5 years ago

    Bah. I’ve had the following AIO pumps fail:

    Corsair H100
    Corsair H100i
    Thermaltake Water 2.0 Extreme

    Sadly, the only AIO coolers that didn’t have the pump die after a year or so were CoolIt Eco ALC setups that my wife and I won from a contest. They even held up nicely when chopped up into a “custom” loop.

    That said…the lack of hassle is nice. My D5 + 360mm cooler + CPU waterblock + GPU waterblock is a bitch and a half to fill and bleed. It took me the better part of an hour to bleed this setup today when adding the GPU block…

      • Jason181
      • 5 years ago

      Do you run your computers 24/7?

        • Waco
        • 5 years ago

        Nope. Only the FreeNAS box does that. These are a few hours a day.

          • Jason181
          • 5 years ago

          I’m hoping you just had bad luck 🙂 Had an H60 that I replaced (for performance, not because it died) with an H100. I only run mine a few hours a day too, and so far so good (~2 1/2 years maybe).

            • Waco
            • 5 years ago

            I would guess I just have terrible luck. Most people I know with them have no issues.

            • rUmX
            • 5 years ago

            Strange. I’m still using a H50 that I bought when they were first released and it’s still running perfectly to this day and my PC is on 24/7.

      • ColeLT1
      • 5 years ago

      I figure my Laing DDC-3.2/DDCT-01s pump will go out someday, its been running since March 2008, but has not let me down yet and is a lower model than the D5. DDCT-01s + Dtek Fusion (V1) + Swiftech MCR320-QP.

      • divide_by_zero
      • 5 years ago

      Yeah, I’ve replaced several of the Corsair models as well. Have a spare H100 from an RMA that I’m avoiding putting into service just because I don’t want to have to tear it out again.

      Though the Corsair replacements pale in comparison to the number of Intel AIO coolers I’ve seen go bad. At my last gig, I worked for a whitebox OEM who built hundreds of workstations for a big software company (name rhymes with shmikeshmoshmoft) and the failure rate on the Intel coolers was mind-boggling.

      • f0d
      • 5 years ago

      i have had some pretty good luck compared to you then

      i have installed about 8 AIO watercoolers in various pc’s (nephews/brothers/friends/my htpc) and not a single one of them have had any troubles yet

      even the h100i which runs non stop in my htpc for close to 2 years now

      i think some people just have some bad luck and you got all of your bad luck all in a short time with AIO watercoolers 🙂

    • appaws
    • 5 years ago

    I think all of these AIO reviews should include at least one lower-mid range air cooler in the review. It should also be compared to an air cooler in it’s own price range.

    Something like the CM Hyper 212 Evo, which I assume is a bestseller and performs pretty well for such a low price would be a good start. Then one of the big giant Noctuas or the Silver Arrow…..

    It would not be that much work, right….couldn’t you do testing once on the same setup and then use the results across multiple AIO reviews?

      • I.S.T.
      • 5 years ago

      This is an excellent idea. It’d give people who don’t water cool and have popular aircoolers like the 212 Evo a good reference point.

      • Jeff Kampman
      • 5 years ago

      I would have liked to bring an air cooler into the mix for this review, but I didn’t have time, unfortunately.

      I do have a tower-style air cooler in my lab for a future review, and I’ll use the Nepton as a reference point for the tower-style cooler’s performance when I write it up. Stay tuned.

        • JustAnEngineer
        • 5 years ago

        I agree that the [url=http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835103099<]$35 -5MIR[/url<] Cooler Master Hyper212 Evo is a good 120mm reference against which to compare these expensive water cooling systems. For more compact enclosures, consider a 92mm cooler like the [url=http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835103064<]$22 -5MIR[/url<] Hyper TX3 or the [url=http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835186093<]$24[/url<] Arctic Cooling Freezer i11.

          • bjm
          • 5 years ago

          Don’t forget that the Cooler Master Seidon 120V is only [url=http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835103195&cm_re=seidon_120v-_-35-103-195-_-Product<]$29.99[/url<] after $20 rebate.

        • fredsnotdead
        • 5 years ago

        “I’ll use the Nepton as a reference point”

        Hardly seems fair to the air coolers…

          • Jeff Kampman
          • 5 years ago

          It might or might not be fair, depending on the cost and performance of the air cooler in question 😉

          I probably won’t frame the review as “is the air cooler better or worse than the CLC?” More likely, my approach will be “this is what the air cooler can do, and this is what a liquid cooler can do for $X more.” Readers who are on the fence about one method or the other can then decide what the best solution is, given their needs and budgets.

      • f0d
      • 5 years ago

      how about a full custom water cooling system to compare with it also?
      d5 pumps
      60mm rads
      high performance blocks

      nah i know this isnt the site for that kind of thing but there is a huge difference between full custom watercoolers and these all in ones and you rarely ever see anyone test all three (heatsinks/aio watercoolers/custom water) in the one test

      and yes im one of those crazy mad scientists that have been custom watercooling for a while now – ever since we used heatercores from car heating systems and fishtank pumps LOL

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