Cooler Master Nepton 140XL & 280L Review

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Installation

Installing the Nepton coolers is very similar to any other Cooler Master product that I’ve installed previously. First and foremost, you need to install the back plate with the screws coming through the motherboard in order to mount the cooler. They are held in place by four plastic clips if you are on the Intel LGA platforms but nothing on the AMD platforms. Usually, you’d expect some form of locking mechanism on the other side to keep the entire bracket in place as this is fairly common amongst all coolers today. That will however not happen with the Nepton and it is quite difficult to install unless the motherboard is laying flat on your table (or wherever you decide to install your hardware). However, this is where the spacers come into play and get rid of the problem.¬†They only go on one way easily but possibly with some brute force the other way. They also act as the locking mechanism that I was talking about so that you can lift the motherboard from your installation area without the bracket falling out of place.

Once you’ve installed the back plate and the spacers, it’s time to move on to installing the brackets on to the pump unit itself. There are two different ones, one that takes care of the AMD brackets and the other for the Intel brackets. In order to secure these, you need to screw them into place with two screws for each bracket.

 

It would be silly to forget the fans so they have to go on to the radiator at some point. There is a choice of shorter or longer screws depending on how you mount it to your case but for the vast majority of us, the shorter ones should be more than long enough. They are a little difficult to start threading so I would advise that you use a screw driver to begin the process, but after that you should probably use your thumbs as there is little chance of you over tightening it without realising which would cause the corners to crack or even snap off.

If we take a quick look at the block itself, we can see the Cooler Master logo in the middle which does not illuminate when it is powered up. I think it would’ve been a great aesthetic to have but Cooler Master decided against it. Unlike the Corsair Hydro series, there is only one cable that comes out of the pump block itself and that is the power for the pump. Cooler Master recommend that you put the pump on your secondary fan header so that it runs at full tilt unless its programmed otherwise. If the fan header is programmed to run slower, you should probably change it as it will decrease performance as the pump won’t be running at optimum frequencies.

Finally, it’s time to mount the cooler. Apply your thermal paste in whichever method you prefer, and then get ready to apply the block. Be sure to remove the plastic film first or you will have horrendous temperatures on your hands and it may take a while to figure out why they are so bad if you aren’t familiar with it. When you’re mounting the cooler, you need to place it on the CPU and then hold it in place with one hand. You need to use the other hand to begin locking the cooler into place with the four locking screw nuts which are easily and sufficiently tightened using only your hands. Do not use a screw driver to tighten them as tight as possible as you will more than likely damage your motherboard.

 

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