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There is one downside to building PCs – mistakes are expensive!

So I have been PC Building for the better part of 30 years. For decades, I have been telling people that PC building is simple – think of it as expensive Lego. If you have the right parts and a blueprint to follow, 98{dfca638b9dbdbc1caf156b9b6679a983a965572ca56a786c9cf360ad3783820c} of a PC can be put together by anyone. The last 2{dfca638b9dbdbc1caf156b9b6679a983a965572ca56a786c9cf360ad3783820c}? That is the CPU, and even this just comes with a ‘be very very careful’ warning.

Picking the right parts and diagnosing problems – that is a different story though. These are the areas that people need help and doing something wrong can be disastrous in the long term.

The internet has made all of this easier, but quality how-to videos still only go so far. Watching someone put a card in a slot perfectly first time doesn’t help someone wanting to learn or do it for themselves. You can pull apart an old or cheap second-hand computer and rebuild it as practice, but that doesn’t help with what to pick for a new build.

A safe and easy practice mode has become available today on Steam – PC Building Simulator.  Full disclosure – I have only seen the videos on what it does, I haven’t played with it myself yet. This does feel a little like an expensive advertising ploy to a degree as PC companies have partnered to be included in the game, but I am OK with this.

For around AUD$25, you can get step by step guides and recommendations from vendors on what components should work together. You can put it all together and run simulations on how different configurations perform. All this information will help you make a decision on where you should spend that extra $100 in your rig.

There is even a game where you run a PC workshop and diagnose different PC issues. Game wise – I think this is a personal hell. I do this enough troubleshooting home PCs on the fly as it is, I don’t want to spend my downtime doing more of the same in a virtual world. But if you don’t have experience in this, this is a great start on things to look for with guided help and a virtual hands-on for trying different solutions with no real-world consequences if things go wrong.

If you have an interest in learning how to build PCs or how to troubleshoot PC issues, PC Building Simulator looks to be a worthy investment. I will probably grab this just to show people different configurations and impacts on performance.

I think PC Building Simulator could be a useful tool for a lot of people, but don’t take the simulated results as gospel. There are always real-world elements that can change performance, like Operating Systems, drivers or even manufacturing defects in the hardware itself. But if you want to see what sort of difference a $300 motherboard makes compared to an $80 one without spending the cash upfront, this will point you in the right direction.

Until next time,

JohnHQLD
Author JohnHQLD
Published
Categories Bits of Interest
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