Our Build your own PC tutorials have been about Intel-based systems so far. Since last year, AMD offers a range of parts that are a great alternative to the market leader. When it comes to sockets and cooling, it is somewhat different. It was therefore obvious to also offer a step-by-step manual for this platform.
An AMD-based system differentiates from the Intel-based ones in many ways. One difference is that AMD has a different philosophy regarding the overclocking (it is possible across a wider range of models and multiple different chipsets). Another difference is the socket, which means that the cooler fastenings are different too.
First off, you will need to choose a processor. Whichever you pick, it will have an AM4 socket. Currently, there are no Ryzen processors for an integrated GPU which fit into this socket, so a separate graphics card is required.
A motherboard with a correct socket is necessary to house the processor and all the other components. It is easiest to use a B350 or an X370 motherboard as they make overclocking easier, so you can get the best performance out of your components. Here is a round-up of 26 socket AM4 motherboards to help you choose which one suits your needs best. In case you want to use multiple GPUs in a SLI or CrossFire configuration or extra storage, we recommend the X370. If that is not the case, a cheaper B350 will do just fine.
In addition to the need for a separate graphics card, you should consider your options thoroughly when selecting the RAM. Without discussing all the technical ins and outs in detail, it boils down to faster memory having a positive impact on processor performance, especially in games. And it is much more so than with Intel. It pays off to choose a DDR4-3000, for example, if you don't want to take the risk that your chosen memory cannot be overclocked. You should bear in mind, however, that the memory compatibility of Ryzen is unpredictable, and that fast, reliable memory is quite expensive.