Originally Posted by ILOVEPOTtery
With the versatility of CLCs, it's pretty hard to denounce their staying power as a relevant cooling solution. You can't viably use big air for VGA, and I'm honestly waiting for someone to adapt CLCs to mobo VRM cooling.
Nothing will beat the tried and true reliability of big air. I honestly don't see a point in buying new any more, not when you can lap a cooler and a cpu for a few bucks worth of wet/dry sandpaper and beer. The used market price-point of big air is very, very, attractive for budget OCers. I still wish I had my old TT120 around as a backup. That thing was a hoss of a cooler in push/pull.
That being said, I picked up a few refurb H105s for $70 each. For a cooling solution that will last me the life of a build and net a few degrees lower than air, why not?
IMHO, it all comes down to cost justification. What level of expenditure vs. gain are you willing to incur?
But its not as simple as just CLC vs Air.
What you are describing is a custom loop and it already exists. You can do GFX card(s), CPU(s), Motherboard either full cover or just VRM's and even PSU and in the case of cooling multiple components it is somewhat easier with a custom loop than trying to fit in there somewhere all the CLC's for each component.
As far as old CLC kits go, however, it would be better to avoid these. Galvanic corrosion is a thing that does its damage over time and while one might get lucky it might not be worth the increased risks to save these couple bucks there. Reason why galvanic corrosion is a problem for CLC's is that vast majority of these use mixed metals - copper cpu block (as its better than aluminum for that) and then aluminum radiator (cheaper, lighter). Galvanic corrosion is not unique to CLC's ofc (brass, steel, etc vs copper have it also but its a lot weaker). Unlike custom loop there is no possibility to open up a block before reusing it to asses if there is any damage and if it's an ok idea.