All in all, we are used that all these numbers are 2 raised to some power: 32 is 2 in the 5th power, 512 – in the 9th power, and 1,024 – in the 10th power.
And a trick question now. Generally prefixes like “kilo”, “mega” and “giga” mean multiplication of some value by 1,000; 1,000,000 and 1,000,000,000 respectively. Everyone is obviously aware of the fact that one kilogram is one thousand grams. So why then a kilobyte is not 1,000, but 1,024 bytes?
In fact, it is a catchy question. A kilobyte is actually 1,000 bytes. While 1,024 bytes is a kibibyte. These new, slightly distorted prefixes were proposed by International Electrotechnical Commission. And they are applied to all familiar names – mebibyte, gibibyte, tebibyte, and pebibyte.
Meticulously, we have the following:
— 1 gigabyte, or GB – is 10 in the 9th power, or 1,000,000,000 bytes.
— 1 gibibyte, or GiB – is 2 in the 30th power, i.e. 1,073.741,824 bytes.
That is, numbers with “bi” prefix are always a bit larger than normal megabytes and gigabytes. But if the difference between a “binary” and a “decimal” kilobyte is only 2.4 %, the difference between a decimal terabyte and a binary tebibyte will be more significant – almost 10 %.
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