It's been over a year since SanDisk first announced their G3 series solid-state drives, but today the company finally began shipping them to North American and European retailers. The new SSDs are pitched as a "compelling alternative" to 7200RPM hard drives, for both home and business users, with read and write speeds topping out at 220MB/s and 120MB/s respectively.

The MLC-based drives use SanDisk's own ExtremeFFS flash management system which allegedly improves random write performance and extends the endurance of SanDisk G3 SSDs. Windows 7 owners will be able to take advantage of the OS' native TRIM support to avoid performance degradation. Of course, the drives will also work under Windows XP, Windows Vista, Linux and Mac OS X systems.

Prices have taken a significant bump from the original announcement, with the 60GB model going for $230 and the 120GB version for $400 – up from the $150 and $250 mentioned in early 2009. SanDisk made no mention of the 240GB unit that was announced last year so for now the line will apparently top at 120GB.