Originally Posted by Blkout
You would still come out ahead as the 285 will overclock higher than the 280 SSC and consume less power and run cooler doing it. However, I wouldn't pay very much to step up for such a minimal return unless you're just dying to use your step-up.
That is exactly what I was thinking. If you can not beat them, join them. In my situation, step-up to the GTX285 SLI vanilla will only cost me shipping.
Reasons I decided to proceed:
1) Vanilla has faster memory and shader than SSC GTX280's.
2) Extra memory bandwidth will help with my monitor upgrade plans.
3) Thermal/power management aspects are better than SSC GTX280's.
4) Due to the 55nm design, I might get lucky and get two good overclocking cards.
5) If I ever decided to go tri-sli, my GTX280's would not be compatible with GTX285's if stock issues of SSC GTX280's become a problem, I would be SOL.
6) I have step-up, it will expire, might as well use it.
Out of the box, not much of an increase in performance. Core is same speed, 5% increase in shader clocks, 7% increase in memory clocks. The possibilities of a higher gains depends on how well they will overclock. It is a free gamble. Well, the costs of shipping to be exact.