Question about baking and lower poly models

I am following the anvil tutorial by Andrew Price and I have a question about baking. In the tutorial, he created an anvil that he then made a copy to start adding details and from that copy comes a normal map. My question is, can my model be super low poly after I apply the normal map? I ask because I don’t see any visible differences when I render an image with and without a subsurface modifier.

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