Decided to throw an eBay custom loop on my X58 daily driver PC. I was surprised at the quality of the components from china. They honestly felt as good as the read deal stuff from the big brands.
Parts list detail:
CPU: I got this and the motherboard in a combo deal for $100. Well worth it. Overclocked from 3.2 to 4.3ghz (remember this was back in the days of REAL overclocking) it performs very well and even in modern CPU intensive games and tasks doesn't miss a single beat.
Motherboard: Quite possibly one of the better motherboards made ever on an Intel platform. This board has a completely unlocked BIOS. There are THOUSANDS of different things to change and even options to set the board to subzero cooling mode. This is an overclockers dream and even has more features than the $300+ motherboards of today I have worked with. By far the most control I have seen.
RAM: Nothing special. Bought years before the RAM hike.
SSD: Also nothing special. Bought before the Price jump.
HDDs: Nothing to really see here. Just some storage drives for games and other things.
GPU: Bought this open box (pre-mining) at my local Microcenter for $169. Great deal and 3gb is plenty for me at 1080p. I'd like to go higher on the overclock but I'm hitting a wall because of the Hynix memory. I can probably get some more core out of it. I'd like to get to 2000mhz core.
Case: I have had this case since it came out like 7 years ago. Its so old that it used to ship with grommets on the cable management holes which it doesn't anymore.
Power Supply: This was an interesting one. I bought this Seasonic based unit for $65.99 as a refurb at Microcenter like 2 years ago. So far going strong.
Windows: Obtained Legally back in 2013 when I was in college and they sold OEM copies for $30 a pop before the dreamspark thing. This was an 8.1 Pro key that was upgraded to 10 pro.
Keyboard: Normal old basic MX Brown board. I love browns and honestly prefer them to other switches. I have added O rings to the key caps and they feel excellent and aren't too loud.
Mouse: Probably my favorite mouse ever. Has been discontinued for a long time but I bought it in like 2012.
Name Brand Watercooling fittings: I had these fittings laying around from other builds. This is why some are different finishes than other ones and not everything matches. The total amount I WOULD have spent on EKWB/Bitspower fittings would be equal to about $90.
CPU Block: Feels hefty and cools identically to the EK supremacy block. No leaks and everything was tight when it shipped.
GPU Block: Also felt hefty and was in great shape when it arrived. No leaks at all and the mounting hardware was excellent.
Pump/Res combo: This I am blown away with. Its basically a swiftech pump inside and is even made in a factory that manufactures name brand pumps for all kinds of purposes. The res was thick and hefty. The ends screw on tightly and feel top quality. The pump and res connect with a G1/4 fitting so you can use it in an application where you want the pump and res separate. Overall you CANNOT beat this for $40. Its not loud but the pump is plenty strong.
Radiators: These are awesome for the money full copper/brass and good and heavy. Not warped or anything and the fitting holes were properly tapped and smooth. I do not know what factory these came out of, but they are definitely just as good as any of the mid range name brand radiators out there. Would recommend.
Compression fittings: I ordered like a dozen of these and used 8 I think. Just nice to have around. Quality rings and smooth threads. just as nice as Bitspower or EK compression fittings for like 1/5th the price.
x58 Chipset block: This was just an afterthought basically. The motherboard ships with a HUGE heatsink for the X58 chipset (like as big as some CPU tower heatsinks) because it gets very hot. This cheapo block doesn't leak and installed easily. Keeps the chipset 25c cooler than the GIANT OEM heatsink did. Well worth adding it into the loop and it gave me the opportunity to do a cool straight short tube form the outlet on the X58 block to the CPU block which I thought looked cool.
Overall the eBay watercooling items were impressive. I have had experience with proper watercooling setups before and, in complete and true honesty, these blocks/rads/pump+res feel 90-95% as good as the name brand stuff. Nothing leaked even on first assembly. NOTHING. Everything was great. Having done $500+ loops in the past for friends, I doubt I'll ever do one for myself. I'm eBay for life with this new generation of quality components for bargain prices.