Prefab's High poly mesh VS lower poly transparency cutout

Which would be more efficient as far as unity is concerned, a 13,000 poly mesh prefab VS 1,500 poly mesh prefab with transparency diffuse cutout shader? Lets say there are 100 in the scene (most likely 20 tops), which method would be better for efficiency regardless of end user capability?

My guess would be that the higher poly mesh would be better. Additionally, since its a prefab would it matter when it comes to shaders? My understanding is that regardless of poly count, shaders of this nature are more expensive to render than a much higher poly model with a diffused shader. Am i right to think this way?

That’s really the kind of thing you’d need to profile to test, I think. It would also probably depend on the graphics hardware of the systems it’s running on.

As a very general rule of thumb though, modern graphics hardware can push a LOT of polygons - even mobile.

Pretty late to the party here but in my (recent) experience with somewhat capable hardware (Intel 4k gpu) the high poly count models win hands down. I tested modeled, fully opaque grass vs billboarded grass and for the same visual thickness the modled grass was twice as fast.