To test the two coolers they were both installed on to the same testbed that consisted of the following components:
CPU: AMD Phenom II X3 720
Motherboard: MSI 790FX-G70
Memory: 2GB OCZ Platinum PC3-12800
Graphics: Sapphire 4850X2
We'll start by looking at the TX3's installation, and it has to be said that there couldn't really be a simpler way to install it. The cooler uses AMD's standard mounting bracket to attach itself to the test hardware. The long retention arm sliding through two cut grooves in the base, and the clip for the other side slipping over that and into two grooves in the bracket. Pushing the leaver down then secures the whole assembly in place. For Intel mounting, there were four brackets, each screw on to the corner of the base and each possessed one of Intel's push fittings. These do make installation easy, but I still maintain they are inferior to a bolt or bracket based mounting system and was a little disappointed to find them used here.
The 212's installation was a more complex procedure compared to the TX3, being slightly similar to the Hyper N520 reviewed earlier on OC3D. The system for the 212 involved Cooler Master's own universal backplate, coupled with a very clever scissor style retention bracket that fits all the sockets supported by the cooler. The stand off's bolt the motherboard and backplate in place using the supplied nuts and then the screws attached to the scissor like bracket secure into the stand-off's to hold the cooler in place. Installation was the same for every socket supported by the 212, only difference being the positioning of the scissor bracket and the screws on that.
Something I will mention is mounting the fans to both coolers. They use rubber pads to protect the fins from harm as well as dampening vibrations, and thusly the rubber needs to sandwich between the fan and sink. Now the tricky bit, the clips used to hold the fans in place. These need to be oriented correctly to fit properly. the hooks go into the back side of the mounting holes of the fan, closest to the cooler, with the angles facing in top and bottom. The clips will then fit into the grooves in the fins without bending any out of place.