I have an model, with many small pieces inside of it. For the images that i am trying to create, these smaller objects are not needed. Will keeping them inside the larger object have any negative impact on render times?
probably but I have no idea how much. It would have to decide if they are visible or not. In addition the help says C4D is optimized for fewer objects with (up to) millions of polys rather than millions of objects with few polys. You probably don't have enough objects inside for that to matter and the only way you can really tell is to do a couple comparison renders one with the objects, one without.