Binary Multiples

Data size prefixes always have caused confusion.

How much is one MB?

Originally it’s 1024 kB, each kB is 1024B. This makes a total of 10243 bytes (1073741824).

Using 1024 instead of 1000 has its roots in the fact that computers usually work with blocks of 1024 bytes (210).

Other people stick to the SI and deem one MB 10003 bytes (1000000000).

To get rid of confusion binary multiples were introduced. One MiB = 10243, where one MB would be 10003.

Factor Name Symbol Factor Name Symbol
10001 Kilo k 10241 Kibi Ki
10002 Mega M 10242 Mebi Mi
10003 Giga G 10243 Gibi Gi
10004 Tera T 10244 Tebi Ti
10005 Peta P 10245 Pebi Pi
10006 Exa E 10246 Exbi Ei
10007 Zetta Z 10247 Zebi Zi
10008 Yotta Y 10248 Yobi Yi

When buying something one should take notice of this, because the difference between one GB and one GiB is 74MB (or 70 MiB).

With ever increasing storage capability there would be a time where one VendekaByte would be half of one VendebiByte. (Vendika = 1030)

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