I also learned just how much memory I need. My computer has 4G of RAM, and I'm set to use 87% of it max. At 1920 x 1080 resolution, at 24 frames/sec., that's about 6-1/2 seconds. It also uses all available processors. That Mac Pro with up to 32G of RAM and 8 cores sounds pretty friendly. Or I could dig out a motherboard that can handle up to 128G of 800 MHz DDR2 RAM and dual quad-core Xeons
Of course, there's no way in hell I can pony up for a new computer, particularly one that costs as much as a new Lexus. I'll live with a six-and-a-half second framebuffer.
I do have an option of using other machines on the network as a render farm. Honestly I'm not horribly concerned about render times right now, but as I get into this, I'm sure that adding some beefy server-type machines to offload some of the work will be something to consider, particularly since I happen to have a couple of machines that will fit the bill that I picked up surplus from work.
One thing at a time.