A couple days ago, a keen-eyed member of the EVGA forums spotted a Samsung 850 EVO pre-order listing at Frys. The 1TB drive was priced at $499.99, a deal good until October 30, and the November 3 shipping estimate suggested an imminent release. Reddit picked up the story, and someone at either Frys or Samsung noticed—or an uptick in orders triggered an automatic adjustment—because the shipping date has since changed to November 24.
The fact that the listing persists suggests it's not an error. Add Samsung's "coming soon" teaser from August, and it seems likely the 850 EVO will arrive some time between November 3 and November 24. Samsung surely wants to have the drive available for Black Friday, which falls on November 28 this year.
Although the listing is short on details, it does peg sequential read and write speeds at 550MB/s and 520MB/s, respectively. Those figures match the specs of the pricier 850 Pro, which is the fastest SATA SSD we've ever tested, but they're also virtually identical to the sequential ratings for the 840 EVO and loads of other SATA SSDs, so they don't tell us a whole lot.
At the very least, the faster write speeds inherent to the 850 EVO's 3D flash should offset the performance penalty associated with its TLC configuration. V-NAND's superior endurance characteristics address another traditional TLC weakness, giving Samsung fuel to price the 850 EVO at more of a premium than its predecessor. Perhaps that's why the pre-order sticker is higher than the going rate for the 840 EVO 1TB, which is selling for $429.00 at Frys and $399.99 at Newegg.
Potentially premature pre-order pages aren't as reliable as official details from Samsung, of course, but it looks like we'll at least know what's what within a month.