Size / Clearance
Like other All In One water coolers, the waterblock / pump means that memory and PCIE slot clearance is never going to be an issue. You can orient the water block 4 different way to make the hosing neat or work around any other obstacles you may have. Ideally, I’d be mounting the block with the logo oriented normally when looking at the motherboard from the side but it makes little difference in a closed case.
The backplate is also a sensible size, easy to fit and universal to fit all popular sockets.
The Nepton 120XL is a quiet cooler when used on a CPU running at stock settings – it’s barely audible. This makes it perfect for a HTPC, steam box or general small form factor build as it will fit where other tower coolers won’t and won’t give you an acoustic penalty due to pump or fan noise.
Overclocking requires the Nepton 120XL to run at a noticeable level and we also needed the pump running at the full 12v in this situation which meant that we got the odd gurgle noise. This is by no means a deal breaker but if you want to overclock and you are aiming for silence it might be worth checking out other options. In this situation, I’d be interested to see how the 240mm Nepton cooler performs with the larger surface area.
The thermal profile of the Nepton 120XL was as expected – we were more surprised that it didn’t make more noise for the thermal results we saw. Basically, it’s on par with a premium 140mm slimline heat sink but will fit in places that you won’t get a large heat sink.
The price of $125 is reasonable and places it in between the Corsair H80i and H75.
I really liked using the Nepton 120XL. Although higher overclocks pushed the unit, we do need to keep in mind that it is a 120mm radiator and it is also only 35mm thick. All elements of the product felt both well built and carefully designed.
It will fit in just about any build that has a 120mm fan mount on the back or roof. The cooler is easy to assemble and fit thanks to a great CPU mounting system and some clever fan mounting screws. The hoses are kink resistant and the perfect length based on our testing. Noise isn’t a problem and the aesthetics are neutral enough for the Nepton 120XL to play a ‘supporting role’ in your build without stealing the show or clashing with a specific colour scheme.
If you need an All in One water cooler for a compact build this is a safe purchase.
We are already planning to use the Nepton 120XL on our test bench as the staple cooler moving forward.
|Cooler Master Nepton 120XL|
|Easy to assemble and CPU mounting system is brilliant
Subtle styling to make it colour scheme agnostic
Fans are very quiet for typical use and light overclocking
Compatible with tall RAM modules
Hoses are kink resistant and a sensible length
nice innovation with fan gaskets and clever case mounting approach
|High overclocks push the performance:noise ratio on the cooler|