Originally Posted by nleksan
Classifieds TEND TO hold their value better, along with Lightning cards.
You could likely setup a water loop for quite cheap for even just the GPU, and add in the CPU later, buying fromtthe OCN classifieds section.
PUMP - $25-45 (DDC/D5)
RES - $20-35 (XSPC/EK Bay/Tube)
RADIATOR - $25-45 for a 360 (XT45/UT60, XSPC EX/RX, MCR320XP, etc)
FANS - $6-15/each (Slow: Noctua/Cougar/AP14/TY14x(excluding 143), Fast: Koolance FAN12025HBK+FAN12038HBK/AP30/San Ace/TY143)
TUBING - $15/20ft (Primochill Primoflex Advanced LRT 1/2x3/4)
FITTINGS - $3-15/ea (Bitspower are the best quality and subsequently most expensive, Monsoon regular comps are very nice but angled are fugly, XSPC compression fittings are the best budget ones)
MISC - $5-xxx (PTNuke-PHN Additive or Mayhem's Additive necessary, anything else from dye to temp sensors or flow meters are bonus)
The water block for the GPU will be the biggest cost, likely $125 +/-$10. I have had everything but Bitspower GPU blocks, and there are two brands that have regularly surprised me at the incredible manufacturing quality, attention to detail, and performance.
Watercool Heatkiller GPUx3 ("Hole Edition") blocks are incredibly well made with the copper base literally shining like a lapped IHS. The blocks also make perfect contact with the core, the full power section components, and the VRAM, and the included thermal pads are quite good (I switched to Sansui 18wM/k and VRM Temps went from around 47C and VRAM 43C under full load to 43-44C and 38.5-39C respectively). The core cooling is unbeatable, with my 670FTW (1.212v set, but it can be pushed up to 1.275v, clocked at 1454core and 1955mem/7820 effective memory) running at 23C idle/35C load with ambient of 18C (UT60 420 6x Bgears Blasters P-P, UT60 240 4x Koolance 12025HBK 2600rpm 106cfm 5.4mmH2O P-P; the EX420 was added back to the loop with 6x Bgears, and I have a couple "modular" sections I move between computers, one with a 1260x60 rad with 18x Bgears, a rad box wwith 3 Monsta 480's with 8x/ea Koolance 120x38 2600rpm 117cfm/6.4mmH2O P-P fans; all radiators have the very useful and cheap XSPC compressible rad seals, and there are also 7mm, 20mm, and 25mm shrouds depending on the rad and side of the rad).
Their backplates, 30 bucks, are also phenomenal and very worthwhile to have.
Aquacomputer full coverage blocks are the second, with impeccable manufacturing quality, aesthetics, perfect nickel plating if you want nickel, very high quality backplates... They perform almost identically to the HK blocks, making perfect contact with every component. I have a pair of the limited edition 680 Lightning blocks and with ambient water they will let me push the cards to around 1500core and 7880 memory. When I use chilled water (33-38F), I have validated bench runs at over 1600 core and the memory over 8Ghz effective. The new Kryographics blocks follow the same trend of excellence, and keep the 780Ti's cooled perfectly, even with 1.3v+ and 1480core/8100mem and higher.
Again like HK, the backplates are phenomenal and worth the extra.
CPU - $35-50 will get you a perfect condition used Raystorm block, which is my preferred block for the "mainstream" sockets Sandy Bridge forward (the Swiftech Apogee HD has been the best and by far most consistent performer on LGA2011 for me). I have the regular and full copper versions, and recommend the regular (copper not worth the premium).
However, I HIGHLY, HIGHLY recommend getting the aluminum hold-down bracket for the block, which is available separately but originally came with just the copper edition. It is worth a SOLID 6-9C drop on my delidded 3770K vs the plexiglass bracket. It allows for a much more even pressure distribution, unlike the plexi which flexes noticeably.
TIM - $7-15 depending on quantity. I have never been let down by PK1, and it's the best paste for tinting which is my method of application (when benching, having 14x120mm + 15x140mm worth of rad space or chilled water means little if you are compromised with the block to IHS contact). The newer PK3 works exceptionally well also.