You have to use a heat exchanger to remove not only the CPU heat but also remove the pump heat.
Electrical energy goes into the pump and gets converted to almost the same amount of mechanical energy. This mechanical energy is transfered to the water. Every bit of this energy ends up in the water and is apparent by the water increasing in temperature. So, both the CPU and the pump are putting energy into the cooling fluid, raising its temperature.
Consider the energy consumption of some popular Eheim pumps.
Model 1048 10 Watts
Model 1250 28 Watts
Model 1060 50 Watts
Compare these energies with the amount your are removing from the CPU. The point here is only to make the point that you have relatively a lot of energy to get rid of.
If you use just a reservoir the capacity of the reservoir does not matter in the long term but the surface area of the sides of the reservoir and how well the sides transfer heat do indeed matter. Assume the reservoir has a relatively small total surface area and the sides are made of a material that conducts heat poorly (plastic, glass, etc.). This is typical of most reservoirs and the temperature of the fluid will eventually get very high. This is not good as the rate of heat transfer in the CPU cooling block is directly proportional to the amount of temperature difference between the CPU and the cooling fluid. The colder the cooling fluid the faster heat is transfered and the cooler the CPU. If the cooling fluid is hot, the "delta T" is smaller and the CPU has to achieve a much higher temperature in order to transfer the same amount of energy.
In other words, don't even think of not using a heat exchanger.