There are somethings that you can do so you can have smaller 3dsMax file, with less error and faster rendering time.
- Using Editable Poly instead of Editable mesh. Editable Poly in my opinion, is a development from Editable mesh, therefore it has more setting option, so it would be easier to model. Unless when I use boolean or pro boolean, then I'd rather use Editable mesh, because Editable poly's face/polygon usually ruin if I use those two.
- Use the Light that's suitable to the rendering engine. For example when you're using VRay rendering engine, then you better use Vray light, IEs, or Sun. Don't mix them with Omni, Direct Light, or any other default light from 3dsMax. It's doable, but you will have longer rendering time.
- Reduce Photon/Sample whe you setting your rendering engine. This apply to almost all rendering Engine.
- Avoid using soft shadow, depends on the rendering engine that you are using. You can avoid this by reduce your light size, or disable the area shadow (if you're using Vray). But I must warn you that this methode will make the result less realistic.
- Reduce subdivision value, on anything that's has it. But not too much though, because it will create noise or spots on your rendering result.
- Reduce using bump and displacement when you map your texture
That's all, if you think there's more, I'll be glad to hear it.