Performance of Web-based image distribution: client-oriented measurements

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Abstract.The aim of this study was to define a clinically suitable personal computer (PC) configuration for Web-based image distribution and to assess the influence of different hard- and software configurations on the performance. Through specially developed software the time-to-display (TTD) for various PC configurations was measured. Different processor speeds, random access memory (RAM), screen resolutions, graphic adapters, network speeds, operating systems and examination types (computed radiography, CT, MRI) were evaluated, providing more than half a million measurements. Processor speed was the most relevant factor for the TTD; doubling the speed halved the TTD. Under processor speeds of 350 MHz, TTD mostly remained above 5 s for 1 CR or 16 CT images. Here Windows NT with lossy compression were superior. Processor speeds of 350 MHz and over delivered TTD <5 s. In this case Windows 2000 and lossless compression were preferable. Screen resolutions above 1280×1024 pixels increased the TTD mainly for CR images. The RAM amount, network speed and graphic adapter did not have a significant influence. The minimum threshold for clinical routine is any standard off-the-shelf PC better than Pentium II 350 MHz, 128 MB RAM; hence, high-end PC hardware is not required.

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