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Testbed and Testing Methodology

The EPSON Perfection 4870 scanner turned to be an exciting machine and it took me some time to get determined about the testing methodology. After some consideration, I decided to test the scanner in several phases, attaching it to a testbed that was configured as follows:

  • Intel Pentium 4 2.00GHz CPU;
  • 1GB DDR SDRAM;
  • EPoX 4BDA2+ mainboard;
  • USB 2.0 + IEEE1394 controller (NEC 720100 + Agere FW322);
  • ATI RADEON 7000 graphics card;
  • IBM Deskstar DTLA307015;
  • Samsung SyncMaster 757 NF monitor;
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional SP1.

Actually, you need a very powerful computer for a scanner with so high declared values of the optical resolution. Otherwise, any scan operation threatens to become never-ending, playing on your nerves. Moreover, Digital ICE technology needs additional system resources to work properly. The following table shows how much system memory and free disk space you need to scan photos and films with Digital ICE enabled:

Dimensions and type of the original

Resolution

HDD space required

System memory required

6” x 4” (152 x 102 mm) photo

600dpi

157MB

185MB

4800dpi

626MB

370MB

A4 (210 x 287 mm) photo

600dpi

631MB

255MB

4800dpi

2524MB

510MB

35mm film

150dpi

1MB

8MB

300dpi

1MB

15MB

600dpi

4MB

30MB

1200dpi

16MB

59MB

2400dpi

63MB

117MB

3600dpi

142MB

175MB

12800dpi

251MB

233MB

Medium format (114 x 56 mm) film

150dpi

4MB

34MB

300dpi

8MB

70MB

600dpi

29MB

139MB

1200dpi

116MB

277MB

2400dpi

464MB

553MB

3600dpi

1042MB

830MB

12800dpi

1853MB

1106MB

4” x 5” (94 x 118 mm) film

150dpi

4MB

36MB

300dpi

13MB

72MB

600dpi

51MB

144MB

1200dpi

202MB

287MB

2400dpi

805MB

573MB

3600dpi

1811MB

859MB

12800dpi

3219MB

1145MB

The resolutions shown in the table are actual resolutions supported by Digital ICE. These values may differ from those you may want to use in the scanning program. In such cases, conversion occurs. For example, if you have selected 200dpi, the scanning for Digital ICE will be done with 300dpi and then converted into 200dpi.

In any case, this table will help you estimate the capabilities of your computer – maybe you should consider upgrading before purchasing the Perfection 4870? 
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