Remember PC Building Simulator? It's still a work in progress, but has graduated to Steam Early Access and, from what we can discern from the trailer video and screenshots, is much more polished than the last time we looked at it.
The idea behind PC Building Simulator is to "build and grow your very own computer repair enterprise," learning how to diagnose, fix, and assemble systems in the process. It was initially created by Claudiu Kiss, then an 18-year-old student from Romania who released an alpha version of the sim in 2017. It was later picked up by indie publisher The Irregular Corporation, and has been evolving into a bigger and more ambitious project ever since.
Building a virtual rig seems like a good way for a first-time builder to overcome any pre-assembly jitters they may have with their real-world components. Piecing a PC together is not terribly difficult (or at least it doesn't have to be), but some might find the task a bit intimidating if they've never done it before.
That's probably where PC Building Simulator is best served, though it's not the only use-case scenario. Futuremark has jumped on board, allowing you to benchmark your virtual build to see what kind of performance you can expect by upgrading certain components.
While in Early Access, there will be several features added, including water cooling, overclocking, more licensed components (several manufacturers have already signed up), more job types in career mode, and so on.
The career mode is optional—if you want to be reminded of a simpler time when you could build a PC without breaking the bank on a graphics card, you can do that in the free build mode. However, you do have to shell out for the sim itself—it's marked down 10 percent to $18 on Steam.