MENTAL RAY TRIX
That I always forget. As we all know, MR in a 32 bit situation cannot handle complicated scenes. A neat feature in Maya 2009 is an :
*auto conversion of texture files to .map files. If you are using big textures, the .map hack is now available under.....
SETTINGS/PREFERENCES / SETTINGS / RENDERING / use optimized textures (auto conversion)
***And here is a great little utility to convert all of your textures files to map files within maya itself. All you have to do is select your textures and it will bake them and re-associate them for you. Awesome.