Tungsten (W) target x-rays tubes are being studied for use in digital mammography to improve x-ray flux, reduce noise and increase tube heat capacity. A parametric model was developed for digital mammography to evaluate optimization of x-ray spectra for a particular sensor. The model computes spectra and mean glandular doses (MGD) for combinations of W target, beam filters, kVp, breast type and thickness. Two figures of merit were defined: (signal/noise)2/MGD and spectral quantum efficiency; these were computed as a means to approach optimization of object contrast. The model is derived from a combination of classic equations, XCOM from NBS, and published data. X-ray spectra were calculated and measured for filters of Al, Sn, Rh, Mo and Ag on a Eureka tube. (Signal/noise)2/MGD was measured for a filtered W target tube and a digital camera employing CsI scintillator optically coupled to a CCD for which the detective quantum efficiency (DQE) was known. A 3-mm thick acrylic disk was imaged on thickness of 3-8 cm of acrylic and the results were compared to the predictions of the model. The relative error between predicted and measured spectra was +/- 2 percent from 24 to 34 kVp. Calculated MGD as a function of breast thickness, half-value layer and beam filter compares very well to published data. Best performance was found for the following combinations: Mo filter with 30 mm breast, Ag filter with 45 mm, Sn filter for 60 mm, and Al filter for 75 mm thick breast. The parametric model agrees well with measurement and provides a means to explore optimum combinations of kVp and beam filter. For a particular detector, this data may be used with the DQE to estimate total system signal-to-noise ratio for a particular imaging task.