Are you working with large scenes or with big textures? Are you experiencing software crashes?
Possible scenario: You are working on a computer with Windows 7 and 6GB of RAM. When you load the scene, the memory usage is somewhere around 5GB. If you try to start a batch-render process Maya may crash.
12.07.11 20:45:27 [0x0-0x4f94f9].com.autodesk.Maya.2011
2011-07-12 20:45:27.100 Batch Render Monitor[5600:607] NSImage: Insufficient memory to allocate pixel data buffer of 65536 bytes
The reason is mostly not your scene or Maya. It’s more likely the settings of your system. You should check the virtual memory settings.
In the System Properties in the Advanced tab go to the Settings and again in the Advanced tab click on Change in the virtual memory section and adjust the virtual memory. This will not prevent all crashes but you will experience that your system runs more stable. This is also valid for Autodesk Showcase and Alias.
Maybe you are wondering, what the virtual memory is good for. I will try to explain it: If your RAM usage is already at the limit, and you are starting a new process, the RAM can’t load the new data anymore, so the system is writing the date from the Ram to your local hard drive, this area on your hard drive is the virtual memory. If it is not set big enough to take the whole data, the system will just kill your process. The result is a software CRASH. If you want to prevent this you should adjust the virtual memory. At UNIX it was always the rule that the virtual memory should be twice as big as the RAM. Maybe you are surprised, but it is still valid and highly recommended.