Cooler Master Nepton 120XL: Review| Test| Specs| Pros & Cons| Hashrate| Set-up|

Test – Cooler Master Nepton 120XL: Specs | Price | CPU Performances| Hashrate| Setup| Config | Advantage (Pros) and Disadvantages (Cons) and other important features that will help you make better

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We come back to Cooler Master after the test of the very good Nepton 240M (to see here today with its little brother, I named the 120XL! Like its big brother it is equipped with 2 Silencio FP120 fans but this time in push-pull on a 120m radiator called “XL” (hence the name of the kit!) 3.8cm thick, the pump is supposed to be silent (it should be if it is doing as well as the Nepton 240M).
Offered at a price of around € 82 the Nepton 120XL is placed in the upper part of the 120mm kits but offers a thicker than average radiator, which could give it an advantage, if the tests are conclusive. Let’s take a closer look.


Like its big brother the front of the box presents a photo of the beast, the model written in silver letter as well as the logo of the brand and a mention of the 5 year warranty, which is always good to take!


At the back a list of the strengths of the Nepton 120XL, such as the copper Waterblock, resistant pump etc. There are also diagrams showing the dimensions of all the parts of the kit, which is rather a good thing but also a graph showing the performance of the kit against Intel and Nepton 240M coolers.


On the side we find all the technical characteristics, dimensions, materials used, fans, noise pollution etc. The least we can say is that the picture is rather complete!


When you open the box you come across a thin layer of foam protecting the precious item from possible damage during transport.


As we can see everything is in its place in a cardboard mold, each piece is individually wrapped in a plastic bag, Cooler Master makes a point of honor to see his little baby arrive without scratches, and we will not complain about it 😀


The bundle consists of:

  • 1 Nepton 120XL kit (still happy!)
  • 2 Silencio FP120 PWM fans
  • 1 AMD / Intel mounting plate
  • The necessary screws
  • 1 tube of thermal paste
  • 2 anti-vibration rubber mounts for the 2 fans
  • 1 adapter 2 x 4-pin -> 1 x 4-pin
  • 1 notice d’installation
  • 1 warranty leaflet

As you can see the bundle is complete and includes everything you need for the installation of the Cooler Master Nepton 120XL, nothing will be missing! The addition of rubber mounts shows that these gentlemen from CM are keen on making the kit as quiet as possible by trying to keep vibrations as low as possible.


Here is the beast! The first thing that strikes here is the thickness of the radiator, indeed the “XL” is not spoofed, 3.8 cm thick when the classic radiators are only about 2.5 / 2.7 cm. Everything is of course and as usual entirely black, the build quality is very good, there is really nothing to say about it.


On the edge is the name of the model printed in white, it is rather discreet but everyone will see it when the configuration is exposed for all to see, you have to stand out a little from the competition with all these AIO kits which all look alike! The fins are all aluminum in order to have maximum dissipation, the build quality is once again excellent and exudes quality.
The pipes are as usual placed at the end of the radiator next to the inlet of the tank, the kit requiring no maintenance and being pre-filled it is sealed and if you have the crazy idea to want to change the fluid know that you can say goodbye to the warranty!


The waterblock is covered with a plastic shell with the Cooler Master logo in its center (which lights up once the beast is plugged in), the contact surface with the processor is entirely made of copper, no mirror finish here though! The whole is rather heavy and of very good quality, the connections of the pipes can be moved in order to better accommodate the installation.


The pipes are protected by a plastic overlay that will prevent pinching, it is better not that this happens!


The 2 12cm fans are completely black, whether it is the casing, the blades or even the 4 wires of the PWM connection, the build quality is good. The fans are given to run at a maximum speed of 2400RPM (plus or minus 10%) and a consumption of 1.92 Watt.

Specification: Hashrate – Cooler Master Neton 120XL

Cooler Master Neton 120XL
Sockets Intel: LGA 775 / 1150 / 1155 / 1156 / 1366 / 2011 / 2011-3
AMD: AM2(+) / AM3 (+) / FM1 / FM2 (+)
Dimensions of the radiator + fans assembly 15 cm (l) x 11.9 cm (L) x 8.8 cm (H)
Radiator dimensions 15 cm (l) x 11.9 cm (L) x 3.8 cm (H)
Radiator material Aluminium
Fan supplied 2
Maximum number of fans 2
Fan dimensions 120 x 120 x 25 mm
Rotation speed 800 to 2400 RPM (± 10%)
Fan sound level 6.5 -> 27 dB
MTBF of fans 160,000 hours
Noise level of the pump  
Pump consumption 4.8 Watts
Pump MTBF 70,000 hours
Guarantee 5 years
Suggested price 82.90€

The Cooler Master Nepton 120XL is compatible with all sockets on the market, even the aging 775 from Intel which has not seen processors for quite a few years now, it will not be easy to find a socket that does not. not accept the small AIO kit. The dimensions of the radiator are rather impressive, not in terms of its width or its length because they are in the standard with 11.9 cm for 15 cm but the height of the thing with the 2 fans which arrives at almost 9 cm, as much to say that the beast will not go unnoticed once installed in a box.
The 2 fans supplied, the Silencio FP120 PWM, rotate at a maximum of 2400 RPM (plus or minus 10%) given for a sound level of 27dB at most and an enormous MTBF of 160,000 hours (as a reminder: 18 years), note that ‘at 2400 RPM there will be no fan that can claim to be silent so it will be necessary to see during the tests.
As for the pump, it offers a maximum sound level of 15dB for a consumption of 4.8 Watts and an MTBF of 70,000 hours, it should logically not be the main source of noise, the theory being what it is only the tests will tell.
Offered at a price of 82.90 € the Cooler Master Nepton 120XL could be interesting if the performances are up to par, which should logically be the case when we see those of its big brother, but let’s not move forward before ‘have seen what it gives!

Let’s talk little, let’s talk well, it’s all well and good to admire the beast but as much as it is necessary to install it, let’s go!
First of all you have to take one of the rubber fan supports and put it on the radiator, like this:


Once installed, place the fan on it and fix it with these screws:


Once done we do the same thing with the fan which will be glued to the case, but this time in the other direction, push / pull obliges!


To fix the Nepton 120XL to the box there are 4 screws included, these:


They are screwed directly onto the screws used to secure the fan, like this:


Here is what it gives with the 2 fans installed, as we can see it is rather impressive:


Once the fans are attached, take the universal plate and install the clips provided as well as the square head screws and put them in the right places, in my case a 1156 socket so the middle hole:


That’s a good thing done! Now it’s the turn of the waterblock, it’s not very complicated at this level, we take the 2 fixing brackets (2 different kinds, AMD or Intel) and screw them to the waterblock using the 4 screws provided:


Come on we see the end, now we take the plate previously prepared with the clips, and we put it below the motherboard, if everything is aligned it should look like this:


Then screw the 4 spacers in the 4 screws provided for this purpose, be careful to put the side equipped with a plastic washer glued towards the motherboard, like this:


From there the light at the end of the tunnel is within reach, just put a grain of rice of thermal paste and put the waterblock and screw it in, and here is the job:


A small photo of the logo illuminated when powering up, for fans of lights of all kinds:


To summarize the assembly is not really very complicated but still requires a lot of handling, a little faster assembly would not have really hurt!

The test platform

The Cooler Master Nepton 12XL has been tested on the configuration below:

  • Processor : Intel Core i7 875K @ 3.2 Ghz
  • Motherboard : Asus P7P55D
  • Mémoire: Kingston HyperX 4 x 2 Go 1600Mhz
  • Disque dur: WD Raptor 150 Go
  • Graphics card : Sapphire Toxic 5850
  • Power supply : Seasonic X650

The test protocol

The core i7 875K has been slightly overclocked to 3.2Ghz. The temperatures under load are an average of all the cores for 3 tests of 30 minutes on OCCT, the temperatures at rest were taken after 15mins on the desk (still an average of the 4 cores). A test will take place in PWM mode managed by the motherboard, another with the fans at minimum and finally a last with the fans at maximum, in order to see how the kit behaves in all configurations.

The AIO Watercooling kit has been tested against:

  • Antec H20 1250 (tested here)
  • Cooler Master Nepton 240M (tested here)
  • Corsair H75 (tested here)
  • Corsair H110i GT (tested here)
  • Fractal Design Kelvin S36 (tested here)
  • be quiet! Dark Rock 3 (tested here)
  • be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 3 (tested here)
  • be quiet! Pure Rock (tested here)
  • Noctua NH-U14S (tested here)
  • Noctua NH-D15 (tested here)
  • NZXT Kraken X41 (tested here)

The temperatures


The Nepton 120XL offers very good performance, approaching only a few degrees of its big brother the 240M (3 ° on each measurement). The processor only rises to 58 ° when the fans are set to 5V, goes down to 50 ° fully and stabilizes at 53 ° in PWM mode managed by the motherboard, which means that the Core i7 is very well cooled and not will in no way overheat. However, it should be noted that large air cooling systems such as the Noctua NH-D15 and be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 3 stays ahead, which is not surprising given their sizes, but this should be taken into consideration when choosing the components for your setup.

Noise pollution

Warning: Part to be taken with a grain of salt, unfortunately not having access to the appropriate equipment and using an android application to take the readings The measurements below are only indicative! The readings were taken 15cm from the cooler.


In 5V the Cooler Master Nepton 120XL is really very quiet, with 33dB at 15cm it will be largely muffled in a PC, you can hear the noise of the pump when you strain your ears, it is very slightly more audible than on its big brother the 240M.
In PWM and with 38dB the results are really very satisfactory, in games there is a great chance of having a graphics card noisier than the Nepton 120XL, note that the vibrations of the fans are not transmitted as much as the 240M.
In 12V on the other hand and with 2400RPM for the 2 fans there was very little chance of having silence, and this is verified with 50dB, even if we stay very far from the turbine that is the Antec H20 1250! On the other hand at this level the vibrations, I strongly advise against the use of the Nepton 120XL with the fans in 12V if you want the well-being of your ears!


Here we are at the end of this test, what about the Cooler Master Nepton 120XL?
First of all the build quality is very good, the radiator as well as the waterblock exude quality and robustness. The bundle offers the necessary for the proper functioning of the kit without doing the superfluous. Noise pollution is a good surprise here, unlike a large majority of AIO water-cooling kits on the market, whether in 5V or in PWM managed by the motherboard, the Nepton 120XL will be very discreet, on the other hand if you ever plug everything in. in 12V it will be very clearly audible (see noisy).

In terms of performance, the Neton 120XL stands very well, close to its big brother the 240M and will be able to cool a processor even overclocked in very good conditions, without reaching the level of a Corsair H110GT, but the noise pollution is really not the same, not even the price! > Note that as often the performance is not as good as the big coolers on the market, such as the Noctua NH-D15 and be quiet! Dark Rock Pro3, but the Nepton 120XL will not result in constraints on memory or PCIe ports.

The price is 82.90 € TTC and is in the high average of this kind of product but the 120XL stands out with its thicker than average radiator, it could easily be a companion for a “gamer” configuration!


  • Finish
  • Low speed silencer / PWM
  • 5 year warranty
  • Performances
  • Thick radiato

A big thank you to Vincent from Cooler Master who allowed me to do this test.

Where to find the Cooler Master Nepton 120XL?

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