A bit of an explanation is in order, I'm sure. The image on the left is the high resolution version of the same scene. Below it is a screenshot of the render options (what I consider high resolution). Render time was in excess of 30 hours. The right image is normal settings, with a screenshot below to show what that constitutes. Render time was about 2 hours. The differences, in my opinion, are phenomenal, but then again so is how long it took to render. Note, however, that both include volumetric fire, volumetric smoke/clouds, and about 13 trees. The trees alone increased the total polygon count by 4,000 to 6,000 polygons each. The scene contained 408 object for a total of 171,998 polygons. Both were rendered at 1024x768x24bit.
Regardless, I wanted to see if there was much difference between the two rendering types, and indeed there is. I've listed my system stats below, for comparison purposes. Not the newest, but not exactly a crummy system either.
Per request, I'm making the br5 file available here in zipped format (about 1MB). Use as you will.
|Processor:||1.2ghz AMD Athlon|
|RAM:||512MB Corsair cas2 PC133|
|Gfx Card:||GeForce4 TI4600 128MB|
|HardDrive:||2 30GB Maxtor 5400 RPM ATA 100 drives in RAID-0|
|OS:||Windows XP, no Service Packs|