I agree that the 3mp diagnostic colour monitors are certainly the future. It is frustrating then there is a very limited choice of colour monitors on our current PACS catalogue. Although I understand that this may change with the next catalogue release, some finance depts like to plan further ahead in this financial climate with business cases etc, especially where there is an LSP contracted workstation refresh due in my region next year.
Just a comment on the amount of memory (RAM)for new workstations: Often software has it's own limitations as to how much memory it can actually utilise. For example I have been told that Impax 6.2 can only use 1.2GB RAM - regardless of how much is installed. We will need to be clear how much can be used by Windows and the client software on the devices to be assured that the memory is sufficient.
posted on Thursday, June 09, 2011 - 04:03 pm
To add to previous post, trusts should be aware of voice recognition software applications that operate in RAM only. These applications can consume all available memory on the workstation if left unchecked. This should not be overlooked when assessing RAM requirements for the replacement workstations.
The benefits of a 64-bit architecture are well known but perhaps not so = well understood. A 32-bit OS can address a maximum 232 bits, i.e. = 4,294,967,296 or 4GB. A 64-bit OS theoretically can address 264, i.e. = 18,446,744,073,709,600,000 or 18 billion GB. In other words, a 64-bit OS = is only limited by the amount of physical memory that can be installed = in the workstation.
What is less well understood is that in a 32-bit Windows environment a = workstation with the full 4GB RAM installed reserves around 0.75GB for = hardware by default (BIOS, controllers, graphics cards, etc). If a = graphics card with more than about 256MB RAM is used Windows reserves = more memory accordingly. This is particular important when it comes to = PACS workstations because with a 1GB graphics card, which should be = considered the absolute minimum, more RAM will be reserved and not = available. On top of this, Windows (again by default on a 4GB machine) = allocates 2GB to Windows and a maximum of 2GB per application. It is = possible to change this by activating the so called /3GB switch but the = PACS application would need to be written to access the extra 1GB made = available in this way; most are not. These same limitations apply if the = applications are 32-bit.even if the workstation is running a 64-bit OS=20
What all this means in the real world is that a 32-bit PACS workstation = with 4GB RAM has a maximum of 2GB of RAM available to run PACS, RIS, = Voice Recognition and whatever else. If you consider that a modern = multi-slice CT scan is at least 1GB, and that for best performance the = whole scan should be cached in physical RAM, this clearly barely = provides sufficient headroom even for review, let alone MPR or 3D.=20
So, to sum up, if the PACS application is 32-bit then 4GB is both the = minimum and maximum RAM that MUST be installed. The sky is the limit for = a 64-bit PACS application but 6GB should be considered minimum.