After reviewing all the threads mentioning "crash" I am still looking for general rules regarding the best way to ensure that a RED file will render. Most of the threads end with "try updating" and I don't know if that means the problem was solved or the questioner gave up trying and reduced the complexity of the file.
I use today's version of 4.2.1 on XP Pro with 3gb of RAM. I use the RED engine and RED with Premiere CS3 and AE CS3. I'm just learning RED by trying out different filters on 1-minute DV-AVI files and it's entirely hit or miss whether they'll render or not without crashing RED or either CS3 program. This is on a very stable workstation that I've used effectively with all the CS3 programs in whatever combination I want.
So how about an overview on the rules for RED? Is there some kind of limit on how long files should be? Should I try to limit myself to a certain number of filters? Do some effects not get along with others? Are there Preference settings that are better than others? Is the RED engine alone more stable than using with an NLE? Is one NLE more stable than another with RED? Is the Mac version more stable than the PC one? Is there a RED version that's the absolute most stable, even if it doesn't have all the newest features? Does RED like Quicktime (import or export) better than AVI? Uncompressed AVI better than MS-DV?
And finally, mostly, is it unrealistic for me to imagine that I can ever render a five-minute RED file using whatever effects I want in whatever combination I choose? Three-minutes? I don't mind if the answer is "no" since RED is so cool I'll take what I can get ... I just need to know what my limits are.