He's just memeing Anon. A good amount of polys is like 2 million to 8 million, but with the right tweaks you can work with 40 million.
Blender's #1 problem is that things that should be on by default aren't on by default in Blender, you've got to learn the software and set it up yourself.
You can test all of this yourself by pressing Shift A to enable an FPS counter (according to blenderstackexchange it's not 100% reliable, but whatever it's good enough):
- Enable VBOs (sculpt mode uses it by default) (File -> User Prefs -> System)
- Enable Backface Culling (N menu, Shading)
- Don't use the default Matcaps, use the QuickPrefs addon (way more customization) (N menu, QuickPrefs)
Get QuickPrefs here (it's free) http://wiki.blender.org/index.php/Extensions:2.6/Py/Scripts/3D_interaction/QuickPrefs
- Disable Outline Selected (don't ask me why Blender doesn't intelligently swap to Bounding Boxes or auto-disable this when you Rotate) (N Menu, Display)
- Multi-Res Modifier needs to be at the bottom of the stack (this is true in general, also for Subdivide, but in particular for a speed optimization Blender does)
- You *may* need to turn off Auto-Save (but probably not if you have an SSD?)
The viewport is the next big thing they're working on for 2016.