It is basically the same however I find it useful for a number of reasons. One is that I can start modeling a component at actual size and in the exact location it needs to be when I’m done. This allows me to use other parts of the model for reference. I only scale up to do the stuff that would create the tiny faces. Then when I’ve finished with the large copy, I exit edit mode and delete it. When I return to the model, the component is where I left it and completed.
A few years ago I had an e-mail from a guy who was modeling a Greene & Greene style chessboard. Lots of small radius roundovers. He was complaining that Zoom Extents deleted his model. He’d scaled his model up and down numerous times as he was modeling all this small face stuff. The problem was that he’d scale up with one handle and scale back down with another. At the time I got his model, the chessboard was about 7 miles from the origin. He also had a very tiny edge segment a few feet from the origin in the opposite direction. Zoom Extents was showing him the extent of his model space but it’s almost impossible to see a normal size chessboard from 7 miles away. Had he used the Dave Method, his original chessboard would have been at the origin where he started it.
Just a note about scaling down. If you make a component of the large version of the object and then scale the component down, remember to correct the definition with Scale Definition in the Context menu. There’s no need to do that with The Dave Method, though.
I usually scale up by a factor of 1000 when I do this