In this paper we evaluate the MPI environments currently available for Windows NT on the Intel IA32 and Compaq/DEC Alpha architectures. We present benchmark results for low-level communication and for the NAS Parallel Benchmarks to allow comparison with other systems, but our primary interest is determining real application performance and robustness in production cluster environments. For this we use PAFEC-FE, a large FORTRAN code for finite-element analysis. We present results from three MPI implementations, two architectures, and three networking technologies (10 and 100 Mbit/s Ethernet and 1 Gbit/s Myrinet).