I have a standard consumer grade NIC and switch combination connected over cat 5e ethernet, that both support 1 Gbps operation. Is that simultanteous 1Gbps send and receive (full duplex) or is the 1Gbps a total that is shared in both directions?

In other words, if I saturate the link up and down, will the NIC be sending 1Gbps, and recieving 1Gbps at the same time (ie, a total data flow of 2 Gbps), or 1 Gbps shared between send and receive?

Assume that the hardware / connection / cpu / memory is perfect and can sustain peek operation indefinitely.

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    gigabit connections are auto negotiated and usually you should see that your devices settle on full duplex gigabit. But note that both the standard supports half duplex ( there is afaik no hardware manufacturer that ships hardware that will not support full duplex gigabit) and there are also scenarios when your hardware will fail to negotiate to full duplex gigabit and you might see much lower speeds. – HermanB May 28 at 13:22

You can both send and receive at 1Gbps for a combined total of 2Gbps

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