Building from this question, I learned that it is possible to notate a tie that is held by the pedal and not the hands. To me that's a bit strange - if the pedal were not held down in that passage, the effect would be different because the right hand is playing more notes that would not be sustained.
That brings me to the question: if I play a chord without the pedal and hold it for 3 seconds, and if I play the chord with the pedal, releasing it after I play it so that the pedal holds the notes, are the effects going to be the same?
I recognize that I can just go ahead and play this myself (I have), and personally I couldn't tell a difference. But, since there is an obvious physical difference (the pedal either is or is not being pressed), I was wondering if internal to the piano there is a difference that would make a musician choose one option over the other. Remember, I'm asking about a single chord. I recognize that there is a big difference if multiple chords or notes are played successively.