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In today's high-performance computational environments communication substrates often stand out as the major limiting factor to performance, accessibility, and stability. Such platforms are naturally well-suited for high-performance network foundation built upon Gigabit Ethernet, or "GigE" technologies. Gigabit Ethernet hardware continues to become more attractive in price and availability, making it a viable choice for situations where large bandwidth is demanded. And copper-based Gigabit Ethernet holds additional advantages when considering the additional cost associated with rewiring for fiber technologies. This report characterizes the current capabilities of copper-based gigabit solutions and identifies requisite components for optimal performance. These aspects are compared under various Linux and Windows 2000 configurations as they relate to latency, throughput, and stability for a variety of hardware configurations.