Mental Ray is crashing when rendering the final Mechs assignment in the Maya Fundamentals course and I'm assuming its because of an overtaxed system and/or not enough RAM. (I'm using a quad core with 8 gigs RAM and Windows 7, 64-bit OS, with Nvidia 560 TI graphics)--and am rendering the assignment in HD format. It renders fine using the Maya Software, so the problem seems specific to Mental Ray. The Nvidia drivers are currently updated, as well as the OS.
Is it reasonable to assume its crashing because of RAM? I'm a complete noob trying to get a sense of what my hardware can and cannot do--and how to analyze rendering issues. Other than the HD resolution, the settings are those suggested by the course. Is it unusual for Mental Ray to crash or is this something you just work around? IPR crashes all the time, as well--so much I don't even like using it.
I sure appreciate any tips or advice anyone might have--the MF course has been wonderfully fun--and am curious how to deal with rendering in the future.