My only suggestion is: Don't do that with that configuration, unless you have someone on your side who can help with the render.
I had an assignment at college, 1 min chase scene, and I had to render it in wireframe mode, cos my estimated render time was like 3 weeks with a dual core 3mHZ, Nvidia 9800 Gt (512), 4 gigabyte RAM. It really did give me a hard time. I'm might be wrong, or did something in an inappropriate way but I pulled my hair out.
As you can see on the first frame of the animation, that was what I was aiming for, and this is the result. Depressing.
Well, the better your computer, the fastest the result is, but it doesn't replace the quality or the process of modeling, lighting and so on. If this is your first project in Maya, I suggest you to watch a few tutorials before you jump in it, you see Maya is a great tool but you have to know what to do with it and it's not too easy in fact it is quite complex.
Digital Tutors had made some really good stuff on Maya, covering many aspect of the program from Modeling to Rendering through lighting and rigging so I'd look at those first, they are really interesting and useful. Also you can browse on youtube whenever you know what you're looking for.
I'm on it.I have downloaded over 30Gb tutorials from Digital tutor. I'm hoping to Add new nvidia 1Gb VGA card to my computer I hope that it will resolve the problem. How it is ? Don't care about my English I'm not good with it..