Solid state drives have been marketed as offering speedier performance than typical hard drives -- making them great alternative boot drives for your OS -- but with the caveat that you will receive far less capacity at a higher price. Intel may not have completely solved the pricing issue, but it appears to have figured out how to move past the storage size limitations.
The company's road map for the third version of its X25-M SSD drives has leaked, and it's based on 25nm NAND Flash. The result is more capacity at the same price point as the previous generation, and a new capacity that can challenge mainstream hard drives: 600GB (only in a 2.5-inch form factor). The new models will also include 80GB, 160GB, and 300GB capacities.
The X25-M G3 boosts sequential write performance from 100MB/s to 170MB/s, while maintaining 250MB/s sequential read performance. According to Intel's docs, drive lifespan has also been improved fourfold, with AES-128 encryption added. The one remaining question: How will these drives be priced? Hopefully we won't have to wait until they're released in the first quarter of 2011 to find out that information.