# Thread: 1GB = 1024MB or 1000MB?

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## 1GB = 1024MB or 1000MB?

I had read various varying answers on the net. Personally I always go with 1:1024. What is the actual ratio? 1:1024 or 1:1000?
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The actual ratio is 1024, however a lot of people including myself just use 1GB to make "1000MB" shorter in text.
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Originally Posted by LaptopFreak
I had read various varying answers on the net. Personally I always go with 1:1024. What is the actual ratio? 1:1024 or 1:1000?
Actual is 1024, but I see often it's just done as 1000.
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Agreed. But why ever have doubts again: http://www.t1shopper.com/tools/calculate/

Sorta handy to have the link sometimes.
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Memories are always represented in base 2 (e.g. 1024, not 1000)

However, communication speeds (e.g. kbps) are represented in base 10; 1000bps not 1024bps.

-Software Engineer
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If we go by the International System of Units (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interna...ystem_of_Units) then:

1GB (gigabytes) = 1000MB (megabytes)
1Gi (gibibytes) = 1024 Mi (mebibytes)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gigabyte

Historically, the term has also been used in some fields of computer science and information technology to denote the gibibyte, or 1073741824 (10243, 230) bytes. The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) defined the unit accordingly for the use in power switchgear. In 2000, however, IEEE adopted the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) recommendation, which uses the metric prefix interpretation.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gibibyte

So, since the year 2000, 1000MB would be the correct answer.
Last edited by ldcdc; 11-20-2009 at 12:15 AM.
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it goes up by 2x. easiest way to remember.

2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, 256, 512, 1024, 2048, 4096, 8192, etc.

from 1024, it just goes onto the next level, MB >> GB >> TB >> PB >> EB...

end of mini-lesson

Most people just like to round down though. Even I do it sometimes but I know in the back of my mind what the actual values are.
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Originally Posted by ldcdc
If we go by the International System of Units (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interna...ystem_of_Units) then:

1GB (gigabytes) = 1000MB (megabytes)
1Gi (gibibytes) = 1024 Mi (mebibytes)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gigabyte

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gibibyte

So, since the year 2000, 1000MB would be the correct answer.
Thanks for that. I remember I read 1:1000 somewhere on Wiki, but can't remember where.

Where does 1:1024 ratio derive from?
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Originally Posted by LaptopFreak
Where does 1:1024 ratio derive from?
It goes back to how memories are implemented. A simplified explanation would be that in digital electronics, a circuit only concerns itself with two states -- "on" (voltage present) or "off" (no voltage). These two states are often represented as 1 and 0, respectively.

The smallest unit of memory is the "bit". It also can store two states -- 1 or 0.

If you had two bits of memory, you can store 4 states: 0-0, 0-1, 1-0, 1-1

With 3 bits you can store 8 states. As you can see, since there are two states involved, each time you add another bit, the number of states you can store doubles (increases by a power of 2).

A Byte is a collection of 8 bits.

A Kilobyte is a collection of 1024 Bytes.
A Megabyte is a collection of 1024 Kilobytes
A Gigabyte is a collection of 1024 Megabytes
A Terabyte is a collection of 1024 Gigabytes

See a pattern here?

Keeping in mind that the memories will always come in a size that is a power of 2 (by virtue of being based off two states), 1024 is chosen because it is the smallest value which is equal or greater to 1000 AND a power of 2.

It is a confusing concept for many people, but it makes perfect sense if you dive into the details. Just remember, if it is a memory (RAM, disk space, etc.) it should be represented as base 2 value.

Also, note the representation (in Bytes) in terms of powers:

"2^x" is pronounced "two to the xth power"
2^10 = 1 Kilobyte
2^20 = 1 Megabyte
2^30 = 1 Gigabyte
2^40 = 1 Terabyte
etc.

Note the 2^(10p), where p is an integer. It illustrates a link to the base 10 system that you will probably be able to remember more easily.
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Its really to do with addressing - for a given number of (binary) lines on an address bus the number of unique addresses is a power-of-two, and it makes sense to match available capacity to available addresses.

A lot of confusion arises because hard drive manufacturers (most likely for marketing reasons) decided to use 2^10 (1024) rather than 10^3 (1000).
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Originally Posted by JoshZZ
It goes back to how memories are implemented. A simplified explanation would be that in digital electronics, a circuit only concerns itself with two states -- "on" (voltage present) or "off" (no voltage). These two states are often represented as 1 and 0, respectively.

The smallest unit of memory is the "bit". It also can store two states -- 1 or 0.

If you had two bits of memory, you can store 4 states: 0-0, 0-1, 1-0, 1-1

With 3 bits you can store 8 states. As you can see, since there are two states involved, each time you add another bit, the number of states you can store doubles (increases by a power of 2).

A Byte is a collection of 8 bits.

A Kilobyte is a collection of 1024 Bytes.
A Megabyte is a collection of 1024 Kilobytes
A Gigabyte is a collection of 1024 Megabytes
A Terabyte is a collection of 1024 Gigabytes

See a pattern here?

Keeping in mind that the memories will always come in a size that is a power of 2 (by virtue of being based off two states), 1024 is chosen because it is the smallest value which is equal or greater to 1000 AND a power of 2.
Thank you very much for the long and informative post.

Originally Posted by JoshZZ
It is a confusing concept for many people, but it makes perfect sense if you dive into the details. Just remember, if it is a memory (RAM, disk space, etc.) it should be represented as base 2 value.
Yes, it is confusing and hard to digest.

Originally Posted by JoshZZ
Also, note the representation (in Bytes) in terms of powers:

"2^x" is pronounced "two to the xth power"
2^10 = 1 Kilobyte
2^20 = 1 Megabyte
2^30 = 1 Gigabyte
2^40 = 1 Terabyte
etc.

Note the 2^(10p), where p is an integer. It illustrates a link to the base 10 system that you will probably be able to remember more easily.
Mathematics, my forte. Thanks!
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I thought capital B always mean byte and not bit.

So 1GB = 1000 gigaByte
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1GB will always be 1024MB! I don't care what the marketing department at Western Digital says!
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Originally Posted by lonea
I thought capital B always mean byte and not bit.

So 1GB = 1000 gigaByte
B is byte, lowercase is bit,

1GB = 1 gigabyte = 1024 megabytes
1Gb = 1 gigabit
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1GB should be 1024MB
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Thank you for asking this subject, Mr
1gb = 1024mg
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1GB is 1024MB

Any Webhost that provides their customers with 1000MB when they claim to provide 1GB IS a fraud, no and ifs or butts.

If anyone wants to argue this fact I have a test for you. Next time you pay a utility bill count \$1 as \$0.75 and see what they say/do.
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Originally Posted by JWeb2
1GB will always be 1024MB! I don't care what the marketing department at Western Digital says!
Haha, I totally agree.

1GB = 1024MB
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Considering the SI standard is in favor of the 10^3 scale, you're unlikely to get *more* support for 2^10 any time soon.

Traditionally, network transfer has always been 1GB = 10^9 bytes, while RAM has always been 1GB = 2^30 bytes. Mostly, the latter has to do with addressing and technical reasons that are now only relevant for RAM. For disk storage capacity, we're moving more and more towards 1GB = 10^9 bytes, with quite a bit of help from the HDD marketing departments, but most "experts" still stick to 1GB = 2^30 bytes. Snow Leopard already switched to use the 10^n scale.

Edit: That is, it is still "relevant" for disks in the sense that most file systems use a power-of-2 block allocation, but this really only matters to less than 0.1% of the population, so..
Last edited by aeris; 11-21-2009 at 08:19 AM.
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in term of disk capacity 1GB=1000MB
ref: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hard_di...y_measurements
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Originally Posted by LaptopFreak
I had read various varying answers on the net. Personally I always go with 1:1024. What is the actual ratio? 1:1024 or 1:1000?
For memory (RAM and similar) 1mb is 1048576 bytes, and 1gb is 1024mb

For every thing else (disk space, network traffic), 1mb is a million bytes, and 1gb is 1000mb.

But lots of people and programmers get it wrong.

Case is not significant, by the way; though some people think "b" is "bit" and "B" is byte.

There *are* Si prefixes kibi, mebi, and gibi for 1024, 1048576, 1024 * 1048576

1 MiB is 1048576 bytes
1GiB is 1024 MiB

You occasionally see them used.
Last edited by tim2718281; 11-21-2009 at 08:44 AM.
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i second Overra on this one.
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Originally Posted by bizness
i second Overra on this one.
Take for example this advert for a dedicated server

http://www.webhosting.uk.com/dedicat...eb-hosting.php

It says near the top "PORT: 100MBPS DEDICATED"

I'm confident the port operates at 100 million bits per second.

Not 100 million bytes per second.

Not 104,587,600 bits per second.

Not 104,587,600 bytes per second.
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definitely is 1024. This is the technical definition for 1GB = 1024MB. Yes, for easiness we all are using 1000MB
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Well it's already been mentioned, in several posts, and spread out some, so here's a conclusion:

There are now two different standards based units; the decimal based and the binary based.

The decimal based is the Kilobyte (up to Yottabyte) and is in base 10, this means a Gigabyte is 1000 Megabytes, a Megabyte is 1000 Kilobytes and a Kilobyte is 1000 bytes. The shorthand for Gigabyte is GB.

The binary based is the Kibibyte (up to Yobbibyte) and is in base 2, this means a Gibibyte is 1024 Megabytes, a Mebibyte is 1024 Kibibytes and a Kibibyte is 1024 bytes. The shorthand for Gibibyte is GiB.

Windows uses the binary system, but uses the decimal prefix, so for Windows 1 Gigabyte = 1024 Megabytes and so on and so forth. Macintosh uses the decimal based system, where 1 Gigabyte = 1000 Megabytes and so on and so forth.

Hard drive manufacturers will also use the decimal based system, I would say they do it to take advantage of people's ignorance, but that might just be me.

::EDIT::
When you see Gigabit (Gb), this is a different unit and is normally used in networking (as in Gigabit per second).
Last edited by FS - Mike; 11-21-2009 at 03:10 PM.
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1 gigabyte is 1024 megabytes...

So (in the UK anyway, by advertising laws) if you state you offer 1GB of Space you have to actually provide 1GB (1024mb). If not you should state your offering 1000mb - because when you start to add up the Gigabytes - the customer ends up losing out big time in the end! Assuming we're using Base 2 / binary as above!
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I don't think advertising law is that specific. As long as it can be proven that the information provided on your website is not misleading, I don't see why it would be breaking the law.
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Originally Posted by webfloat
Misleading based on certain definitions, and correct based on others.

This has nothing to do with advertising laws.
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Everything is "Misleading based on certain definitions, and correct based on others."

It's misleading in the context it's being used in. Unless I'm mistaken when referring to virtual storage as used in shared or VPS hosting 1GB = 1024MB, when referring to physical storage 1GB = 1000MB. My point is that hosting companies shouldn't be able to get away with advertising or providing 1GB of space/data transfer and then actually providing 1000MB of space/data transfer - unless they are defining 1GB as something other than 1024MB on their literature. If I paid for 25GB of space I'd expect to get the equivalent of 25,600MB not 25,000MB. In the UK there was numerous wide-spread complaints about ISP's offering "up too" speeds - as this was misleading. It's a similar thing really...
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Originally Posted by webfloat
...It's a similar thing really...
Not quite. The definition of Giga is x10^9, this is international notation and the value is recognised as such. In the case of ISPs, they were claiming that you would receive 8Mb/s, where in fact, you could receive up to 8Mb/s if it was a sunny day, the birds and bees were out and the Prime Minister was Katie Price; or your house just happened to reside no more than 2 metres from the telephone exchange. It was found misleading as the majority of customers were not receiving 8Mb/s and the circumstances for you to receive the advertised speed were almost untenable.

In this instance, you are receiving what is the internationally defined Gigabyte.

::EDIT::
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Katie_Price for those that don't know who Katie Price is.
Last edited by FS - Mike; 11-21-2009 at 04:48 PM.
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Originally Posted by FS - Mike
if it was a sunny day, the birds and bees were out and the Prime Minister was Katie Price;
lol cheered me up
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Originally Posted by webfloat
lol cheered me up

On a serious note though, it's not quite the same
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Originally Posted by FS - Mike

On a serious note though, it's not quite the same
Yep - noted! Although still I must admit I'd personally be frustrated if I ended up getting 1000MB per 1GB from a web host, instead of 1024MB
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Originally Posted by LaptopFreak
I had read various varying answers on the net. Personally I always go with 1:1024. What is the actual ratio? 1:1024 or 1:1000?
1024, however it depends on who is calculating. HDD Manufactures almost always use the rounded down measure, thus as HDD have increased in size the disparity between advertised and actual size has grown.
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Originally Posted by FS - Mike
you could receive up to 8Mb/s if it was a sunny day, the birds and bees were out and the Prime Minister was Katie Price; or your house just happened to reside no more than 2 metres from the telephone exchange.
Nice one Mike, made me chuckle !
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Originally Posted by webfloat
Yep - noted! Although still I must admit I'd personally be frustrated if I ended up getting 1000MB per 1GB from a web host, instead of 1024MB
I can understand that, I'm still miffed when I get a 300GB HDD and it only gives me like 280GiB or so, but you don't see Trading Standards knocking heads with the manufacturers simply because they are acting within the law.
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Originally Posted by FS - Mike
I can understand that, I'm still miffed when I get a 300GB HDD and it only gives me like 280GiB or so, but you don't see Trading Standards knocking heads with the manufacturers simply because they are acting within the law.
Yep - but in that case we are talking about physical space. With web hosting (other than dedicated with physical hard drives) we're talking about space which already has a formated size and you should therefore be able to define how much it actually is... Google calculator converts 1 gigabyte to 1024 megabytes
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