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Simply stated, the main difference is that the 283 bore & stroke is 3-7/8" x 3", 327 is 4" x 3-1/4".

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JohnZ
'69 Z28 Fathom Green
 

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The difference might be more dependant on the car it's in than anything else. In a 57 chevy the 283 would be the corect stock motor where as in a 68 camaro it would not. Both can produce plenty of neck snapping horse power, but now days you would lean towards a 350 or 383 unless you are restoring a car and want the correct c.i. motor.
 

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If it is a 327 large journal you can make it a 350 or 383. I guess you could a small journal, lot more machining. They both have the same bore and other dimensions with the large journal.
 
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