This is the essential Prime Day PC gaming upgrade I'd make today and it's just $60

WD_Black SN850X SSD
(Image credit: WD)
WD Black SN850X | 1TB | NVMe | PCIe 4.0 | 7,300MB/s read | 6,300MB/s write | $79.99 $59.99 at Newegg (save $20)Price check:

WD Black SN850X | 1TB | NVMe | PCIe 4.0 | 7,300MB/s read | 6,300MB/s write | $79.99 $59.99 at Newegg (save $20)
This is our favorite SSD for gaming right now. Unlike the cheaper SN770, the SN850X encapsulates the best that PCIe 4.0 offers in terms of performance (see our review). That makes it a great fit for a boot drive with space to spare for your game library, and at this price, we're happy to pay the premium for its higher speed.

Price check: Amazon $59.99 | Western Digital $59.99 | Best Buy $59.99

WD Black SN850X | 2TB | NVMe | PCIe 4.0 | 7,300MB/s read | 6,600MB/s write | $89.99 at NeweggPrice check:

WD Black SN850X | 2TB | NVMe | PCIe 4.0 | 7,300MB/s read | 6,600MB/s write | $89.99 at Newegg
Our favorite SSD for gaming but in a 2TB package. Again, there's a premium to pay for the speed the SN850X offers, but it's worth it if you are chasing performance.

Price check: Western Digital $143 | Amazon $143

There's no getting away from it. If you're still hanging on to your beloved spinning platter hard drive because you cannot bear to move on from the anachronistic digital/mechanical hybrid, you're going to be in trouble as a PC gamer going forward. Starfield, one of the most hotly anticipated games of the year is making an SSD a solid minimum requirement.

An SSD is essential for your PC gaming future.

The WD Black SN850X is PC Gamer's pick as the best SSD for gaming right now, and you can grab the 1TB version for just $60 at Newegg today. Interestingly, that's the same price as Starfield. And for only $30 more you can now grab the 2TB version, too.

With a whole 2TB you could fit your Starfield install in there 16 times over. Or maybe a couple of Call of Duty installs.

It's as fast a PCIe 4.0 SSD as you could want, and if you were wondering whether to hold out for PCIe 5.0... well, my advice is don't. 

Those drives are unbelievably hot, and while they post supreme synthetic transfer speeds, that means nothing in a real world scenario unless you're going from one PCIe 5.0 drive to another. In Windows and general gaming usage they're about the same speed as a good PCIe 4.0 drive like the WD Black SN850X up there.

Most of us already have an SSD in our system, likely as a boot drive, and maybe even with some older hard drives holding some ancient scrolls for posterity on our PCs. But you can always benefit from more storage, and the Prime Day SSD deals are delivering up some ludicrous prices.

We're talking down to 5c per GB here. That's crazy.

Whatever, the short of it is that SSDs are incredibly affordable right now, and are an easy, essential upgrade that can make a real difference to your PC experience. Especially if you're weaning yourself off a hard drive or an old SATA SSD.

Dave James
Managing Editor, Hardware

Dave has been gaming since the days of Zaxxon and Lady Bug on the Colecovision, and code books for the Commodore Vic 20 (Death Race 2000!). He built his first gaming PC at the tender age of 16, and finally finished bug-fixing the Cyrix-based system around a year later. When he dropped it out of the window. He first started writing for Official PlayStation Magazine and Xbox World many decades ago, then moved onto PC Format full-time, then PC Gamer, TechRadar, and T3 among others. Now he's back, writing about the nightmarish graphics card market, CPUs with more cores than sense, gaming laptops hotter than the sun, and SSDs more capacious than a Cybertruck.