Included Accessories / Installation (Intel / AMD)
The accessories which accompany Cooler Masterís Nepton 280L are very similar to the Seidon but reflect the improved mounting procedure created for the Nepton series. Thereís a well-documented installation pamphlet, a large bag containing mounting equipment for all current Intel and AMD systems and a small tube of thermal compound. Unfortunately, the anti-vibration gasket found in the Seidon series is conspicuous by its absence and has been replaced by simple strips installed directly onto the fans.
Nepton 280L Installation (Intel)
Cooler Master has done away with plastic Intel or AMD-specific backplates and instead designed an all-metal one size fits all solution. Itís quite actually brilliant, with sensible position indicators and double sided Intel / AMD labels for its various positions. As an added bonus the Nepton 280L supports 115x, 1366 and 2011 systems along with older 775 socketed motherboards. Spacers are also included to insure backplate mounting pressure remains consistent across every CPU type.
With the backplate and its associated posts installed, plastic spacers have to then be attached to each of the posts. These will hold the posts and backplate in position without the need for double sided tape. This is another area of improvement over the Seidon's metal standoffs.
There are two universal Intel top brackets and mounting them to the waterblock is done via small screws. These screws are the single weak link in this design as they are easy to lose and finicky to get into place.
Installing the water block into position is quite easy with each of the four posts sliding up through the water blockís retention bracket and then a quartet of nuts being used to provide even mounting pressure. The nuts are a touch small and can be difficult to manipulate but they arenít spring loaded, making them much easier to work with.
This is where the installation does go off the rails somewhat Even though Cooler Master has included both 120 and 140mm fan mounting holes, the Nepton 280L is not compatible with their own HAF-X case nor any enclosure which has only 120mm fan mounting options. Much like the NZXT X60 and Corsair H110, we had to resort to brackets to mount this to our case. How is this possible? Even though the Nepton 280L can use 120mm fans their spacing is proprietary and will not line up with dual 120mm fan mounting holes in any case.
AMD System Installation
The AMD installation uses most of the same hardware as its Intel counterpart though this time the ďAMDĒ side of the backplate is used. Once again, everything is clearly labeled.
Prepping the water block is straightforward as well, with AMD brackets being used this time.
With the brackets in place the installation continues to follow along the same lines as we saw above, with the exact same radiator installation hiccups. Luckily, the Nepton 280L is one of the more AMD friendly AIOs available today.
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