X-ray computed tomography (CT) with energy-discriminating capabilities presents exciting opportunities for increased dose efficiency and improved material decomposition analyses. However, due to constraints imposed by the inability of photon-counting detectors (PCD) to respond accurately at high photon flux, to date there has been no clinical application of PCD-CT. Recently, our lab installed a research prototype system consisting of two x-ray sources and two corresponding detectors, one using an energy-integrating detector (EID) and the other using a PCD. In this work, we report the first third-party evaluation of this prototype CT system using both phantoms and a cadaver head. The phantom studies demonstrated several promising characteristics of the PCD sub-system, including improved longitudinal spatial resolution and reduced beam hardening artifacts, relative to the EID sub-system. More importantly, we found that the PCD sub-system offers excellent pulse pileup control in cases of x-ray flux up to 550 mA at 140 kV, which corresponds to approximately 2.5×1011 photons per cm2 per second. In an anthropomorphic phantom and a cadaver head, the PCD sub-system provided image quality comparable to the EID sub-system for the same dose level. Our results demonstrate the potential of the prototype system to produce clinically-acceptable images in vivo.