How many MB and GB are there in a TB?

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The byte and its multiples (kilobyte, megabyte, gigabyte etc.) are the units of digital capacity. Nowadays, it more convenient to state the digital capacity in the multiples of bytes as the storage memory of electronic devices keeps expanding.

Megabytes and gigabytes are already in common use and the terabyte era is approaching with the world’s first hard disk of 1 terabyte capacity introduced in 2007.

A terabyte (abbreviated to ‘TB’) is equal to 10004 bytes, 1,000,000 megabytes and 1,000 gigabytes according to the metric (SI) system. However, sometimes a terabyte is interpreted as 10244 bytes by the binary system. Such discrepancy led to confusion among the users of some operating systems who got mislead on their actual hard drives’ capacities.

To resolve the misinformation which arose around prefixes, IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) proposed the new standard of naming the binary multiples:

Kibibyte
1024 B
Mebibyte
1024B
Gibibyte
1024B
Tebibyte
1024B


as opposed to the metric multiples:

Kilobyte
1000 B
Megabyte
1000B
Gigabyte
1000B
Terabyte
1000B


Did you know?

1. The world’s first ever hard disk had the capacity of under 5 MB and was composed of fifty 24-inch disks put together.
2. 1 terabyte of data is as much information as 2000 hours of good quality audio recording or what about 1428 CDs, 212 DVDs or 40 Blue-ray discs could store.

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