Intel's third generation 25nm SSDs spotted

Intel’s third generation SSDs, which use 25 nanometer memory, have arrived, many months before their rumoured launch date in 2011.

A Chinese auction site called Taobao, which is similar to eBay, sold a number of Intel X25-M SSD G3’s according to Dutch-language Tweakers.net. The X25-M SSD G3 utilises 25 nanometer MLC flash memory, which Intel developed with Micron earlier this year.

Three different capacities were available on Taobao, the 160GB, 300GB, and 600GB models. There is also an 80GB model planned, but that was not for sale.

Intel has already released the specifications for the SSDs, but initial tests on those acquired through Taobao show that they are not quite as advertised. 

On the 300GB model a seqential read speed of 250MB/s is supplied by Intel, but on benchmarking tests with HD Tune it came in slightly under par at 218MB/s. 

It had an advertised write speed of 170MB/s, but tests showed this also slightly less at 167.4MB/s. The difference in this instance, however, is minimal and would hardly be noticed.

The 160GB version has a retail price of around €260 ($360), with the larger 600GB one going for a wallet-eating €865 ($1,200), continuing the trend of significantly overpriced solid state drives.

There is no word yet on when these SSDs will be available for the rest of the world, but rumours suggest a February 2011 launch.