Google Answers Logo
View Question
Q: Please Fill In This File-Size Comparison Table? ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   2 Comments )
Subject: Please Fill In This File-Size Comparison Table?
Category: Computers > Internet
Asked by: grandrascal-ga
List Price: $5.00
Posted: 08 Mar 2006 01:27 PST
Expires: 07 Apr 2006 02:27 PDT
Question ID: 704847
[N.B.: Switch to a monopoint (fixed) font such as Courier, Courier New,
or Fixedsys when viewing this question.]

I'm all confused with file sizes! Someone please complete the following

1                   N/A                  N/A                      1,024
???                 1                    N/A                  1,048,576
???                 ???                  1                1,073,741,824

Subject: Re: Please Fill In This File-Size Comparison Table?
Answered By: palitoy-ga on 08 Mar 2006 02:54 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hello grandrascal-ga,

Thank-you for your question.

Conversion between different sizes in terms of computer storage is
confusing at times because unlike "real life" 1000 does not always
equal 1000 but is sometimes 1024!

The quickest way to complete this table is to use one of the excellent
online conversion calculators such as:

1                   N/A                  N/A                      1,024
1,024               1                    N/A                  1,048,576
1,048,576           1,024                1                1,073,741,824

I think most beginners agree this is a complicated and confusing way
of representing something that should be simple.

The confusion arises because computers work in binary.  Therefore the
nearest value to 1000 is 1024 or 2^10 (2^9 is 512, another "computer
number" that crops up a lot).  Similarly the nearest number to one
million is 1,048,576 (2^20).

For simplicity we remember that one MEGAsomething is one thousand
times larger than a KILOsomething, in computer storage one
MEGAsomething is actually 1024 times larger than a KILOsomething. 
Instead of using a new term we "steal" the terms KILO and MEGA and
apply this new definition of being 1024 times larger or smaller.

This means:
1 kilobyte is 1024 byte (not 1000 as you would mean in other areas of science)
1 megabyte is 1024 times (not 1000!) larger than a kilobyte, which
means it is 1024 kilobyte and 1024x1024 (1,048,576) byte.
1 gigabyte is 1024 times larger than a megabyte, which means it is
1024 megabytes, 1024x1024 (1,048,576) kilobytes and 1024x1024x1024
(1,073,741,824) byte.

Hopefully this is of some use to you, if you require any further
assistance please ask for clarification and I will try to explain a
little bit more.  The webpages in the "further information" section
below should also help you build up your background knowledge.

Further information:
grandrascal-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $1.00
Thanks very much! That helps to clarify things for me.   :)

Subject: Re: Please Fill In This File-Size Comparison Table?
From: hardtofindbooks-ga on 08 Mar 2006 04:40 PST
Just to add to the confusion, there are several different definitions
for the big byte collections.
Under the SI classification, which is followed by the IEC, ISO and IEEE,
kilo, mega and giga are 10^3, 10^6 and 10^9. 2^10, 2^20 and 2^30 are
kibi, mebi and gibi.
Memory still tends to be quoted base 2 while hard disk space is most
commonly by base 10.
Apparently there is even a third megabyte of 1,024,000 bytes for the old 
(3 1/2 inch), "1.44 MB" floppy.
see the National Institute of Standards and Technology
Subject: Re: Please Fill In This File-Size Comparison Table?
From: palitoy-ga on 08 Mar 2006 08:08 PST
Thanks for the 5-star rating and tip!

Important Disclaimer: Answers and comments provided on Google Answers are general information, and are not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice. Google does not endorse, and expressly disclaims liability for any product, manufacturer, distributor, service or service provider mentioned or any opinion expressed in answers or comments. Please read carefully the Google Answers Terms of Service.

If you feel that you have found inappropriate content, please let us know by emailing us at with the question ID listed above. Thank you.
Search Google Answers for
Google Answers  

Google Home - Answers FAQ - Terms of Service - Privacy Policy