A good bit of the cooling gadgetry is from Swiftech but the rest is my hackery. The main bit of hackery is the heat exchanger which is usually hiding under the work bench (behind a trash receptacle). In examining the HX, you will see that I am more concerned with function than physical beauty
The reservoir is a chunk of 4" sewer pipe (leftover from the repair of a root intrusion into a septic inlet). The system holds about two gallons of coolant (50% Prestone anti-freeze, 50% distilled H2O). The blue anodized box has two fans that pull cool air in from the floor into the box and out the top of the box and thus through the radiator (the box was left over from an unrelated car project). The box serves as a plenum which insures that air flows through all of the radiator roughly equally.
Note that the outlet of the pump incorporates a tee with a normally shut valve. It is not evident but just after the tee is another valve at the inlet to the radiator that is normally open. These two valves, when reversed, make draining/purging the system easy - the pump essentially drains the system through the tee. I have a container to catch the coolant. When the maintenance is done, I pour the coolant back into the system through the cap at the top of the reservoir. Because of the height of the reservoir, the system never has a problem priming. I am pleased to report that I can move the boxes quite a lot and not cause leaks. I may cart it off to the next lan party.
All of the fittings are either Pex or Watts (from Lowes) and are designed for push fit assembly. The design is such that pressure helps hold the cables in place (like the infamous Chinese finger trap). I have a few pictures of the fittings in various stages of disassembly.
At present the CPU0 is running at 23C and CPU1 is at 19C. When CPU 0 and 1 are equally busy they converge to the same temp and have not gotten to more than 36C. The video card is usually reports about 53C and never above over 61C. The GPU is the first element that the incoming coolant hits. I have not found over-clocking the GPU to help the frame rate. I will eventually get the new Swiftech CPU heat sinks. I am not touching the video heat sink though.
Note that I have installed a sound blaster card in the slot adjacent to the 8800GTX. I can install a second 880GTX for SLI (thus sandwiching the SB card between two videos) though I doubt I will.
The fans are running under the control of a left-over thermostat that switches them between 7v (12v-5v actually) and 12 volts. They only run at 12v on hot summer afternoon. It is expensive to keep the room cool via HVAC (and besides, I like to be warm) which is the motivation for water cooling. On a cold day, my computer dungeon is the nicest part of the house to be in.