Hmmmm......not a simple question to answer. Firstly, as far as I'm aware the only game around where players gain a real benefit from lowering the games resolution in order to 'spot the dots' earlier is CLoD.The Great Battles series does not actually render a dot. It delivers a teeny, tiny plane with it's own reflection model. It's that reflection model that is the first indication of distant movement.
Despite many forum claims and heated debate, in GBS there is no way in game to improve spotting distances. I and many others have tried 'em all and neither lowering resolution, nor lowering the gamma or using post-effects like SweetFX make any difference.
Hardware, however might. As far as I'm aware only Fruitbat has a high res monitor and VR so I'd be very interested to hear his opinion.
All VR headsets have a higher resolution than 1080 monitors. I'm using a Rift CV1 as is Friar and Crash. Sid, Fenrir and Fruitbat are using the Rift S which has a slightly higher resolution than the CV1.
Up until the release of version 4.004 I think it fair to say that under certain conditions - generally having the sun behind us and the approaching aircraft being below the horizon - both Crash and myself have been able to spot distant movement further out than anyone else. Initially what we are seeing is reflected light from distant aircraft.
Is this an advantage? Well.....yes frankly. 😎
However, something has changed with version 4.004 and I'll quote from Han's update notes
8. Brightness and size of very distant aircraft LODs made more uniform (it differed too much on some aircraft)
and I fear our super powers are not as they were as I've not been able to spot anything dramatically far out lately.
The big, top ten advantages to using VR over a monitor are (in my opinion)
1] Holy shit, I'm in a Spitfire!
Ditto for points 2 to 8
9] Much better ability to judge distance - which leads to
10] Much improved gunnery accuracy.
Infact, check out my little streak in Flying Circus
Other advantages? Er.......
I'm using the tiny triangle in my icon mod. and I'm using the no other planes on the map mod 'cause Uncle Siddley told me to