Originally Posted by simon741
What about just getting like the Big Water SE. Thats a whole kit and only costs about $130. Does that have everything you need?
Here's my $.02 worth--if not completely satisfied, your money cheerfully refunded.
I'm looking at the same decision. I'd say the answer depends upon your priorities--if silence and portability are not big concerns, and you want the ultimate in performance for extreme overclocking, I agree with the folks who say go with a hard core WC kit or custom. Like a Dell, the Bigwater will not impress uber geeks.
My goals for WC are portability, better cooling than air (though not the ultimate), silence, and quality. I picked the BigWater. I'll be cooling my 64 x2 4200+ and 7800 GT (using TT's Aquarius waterblock) on an Asus A8N-SLI Premium, eliminating CPU, Mobo and VGA fans.
Portability: I summer and winter in different places, and want a solution that I can ship without dissasembly or damage (draining is okay). The high-performance-but-quiet air heatsinks are big and heavy, and I'd be afraid that they would destroy my CPU if I transported without disassembly. And a completely internal solution is easier to ship.
Better cooling: Reviews say that the Bigwater yields temps lower than even outrageously loud air coolers, with almost complete silence. They say its performance isn't as good as the best bigger-louder-costlier WCs, but surprisingly good.
Silence: Very important to me. Reviews say the BigWater maintains its performance even with it's fan turned down to near silence, and it's pump is very quiet. It will also fit entirely inside the Antec P180 case I just bought, muffling it further.
Quality: reviews say the unit is well made, with smooth waterblock and secure connections. And the components are designed to work together. For example, a higher volume pump might make a big improvement with one set of components, but little with another, and it might cause unwanted side effects like noise, etc. Of course such challenges are the hobbiest's bread and butter--depends if you want to tweak or not.
So if you want the ultimate in cooling, hold out for something bigger and/or more expensive. (Mine was $114 at zzf.) But, despite it's lack of bragging rights, the BigWater appears to be a nice entry-level system. I'll let you know.
Hope this helps, good luck, and have fun!