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Net work card + CPU load

Hi everybody,

I have noticed that on my workstation (P-III 1ghz, 512mb, Intel chipset, 
100mbit 3com network), I can copy stuff over the network at about 8-9mb/s at 
the best of times.  When I do this, my CPU usage is quite high.

I notice the same thing on my home PC (2ghz Athlon, 384mb, Via chipset, SMC 
network card - tulip driver).   On both these machines the CPU load seems to 
be directly proportional to the transfer rate on the network interface.

I can only assume that his is because both these cards do a lot of the hard 
work in software, in the driver.  Can anyone confirm/deny/explain this?

Either ways, our office would be migrating to a gigabit network soon, and I'm 
tasked with finding good network cards.  Can anyone recommend a gigabit 
network chipset that fully implemented in hardware - i.e. the network card 
itself does all the heavy lifting.  I'm looking for someting that would 
affect the CPU usage as little as possible.

Thank you
Kind regards
Hans du Plooy
hansdp at sagacit dot com

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