If I have computers linked through a switch, will they communicate directly?

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http://serverfault.com – If I have a network like: Group1 -> Switch -> Switch -> Server (configured as gateway by DHCP) Group2 -> Switch -----^ (Hope that makes sense...) When computers in each group send packets to other computers in the same group (so same switch), will the packets go all the way through the second switch to the server and back again or will they go directly to each other via the first switch (that they're directly connected to)? On a side note, if I have a 16 port gigabit switch, does that mean that every port can be fully utilized at once? So say I have 8 lots of two computers exc (HowTos)