Why do computer hard drive manufacturers not use proper computer math?

Here is the manufacturers idea of what a gigabyte is--->

1000 megabytes equals a gigabyte

but in reality--->

1024 megabytes equals a gigabyte

so with that being the case, when you purchase a 300 gigabyte Hard drive there should be-->

307,200 megabytes

But what is really there, hypothetically, is-->

300,000 megabytes

And what is actually detected on my 300 gigabyte Hard drive?

279 gigabytes, thats short 21 gigabytes, thats a whole laptop hard drive.

Would hate to have bought a tetrabyte and only gotten 930 gigabytes

7 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    yeah, you can't expect the manufacturers to make perfect harddisk like 300, 000 megabytes straight.

    just like processors it might say 3.0Ghz but in reality it might be 2.992Ghz that's what happens to my comp

    and very rarely do you get more than what's specified like 3.1Ghz from a 3.0Ghz buy.. unless you're very lucky

    and the true value of one gigabyte is not 1000

    but 1024 that's equal to 2^10.

    In conclusion you can't expect everything to be perfect in this world. Especially the manufacturing of chips which are already so small.

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  • 1 decade ago

    it is because the computer uses two binary digits, 1 and 0. in the normal world, we use the numbers 1 to 9 to express a certain number. So if u convert binary into megabytes, 2^10 will be 1024. People were used to mega as 1000 because we use 10^3 to convert numbers represented by the digits 1 to 9 to mega

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  • 1 decade ago

    Actually, regulations in most countries regarding units and measurement state that _any_ quantity must be expressed with 1000 standard modifiers, for example: 1K = 1000, 1M = 1000000, 1G = 1000000000, etc

    It also goes downwards: 1 mili = 0.001, 1 micro = 0,000001, etc

    Therefore, computer systems that use K =1024 and M = 1048576 (1024*K) are "wrong".. but people have gotten used to it. The *ONLY* proper place to use 1024 multipliers is in main memory (RAM), but not disk drives.

    Besides, the hard drive manufacturers can make their disks look bigger than they actually are by using "proper" multipliers. (So yes, it is almost a scam - but not quite ;)

    P.S: The IEC organization has declared proper abbreviations for 1024 multipliers as: 1 Ki = 1024, 1 Mi = 1024Ki = 1048576, etc... .. that was in 1999, and confirmed as IEEE standard in 2005.

    Check out the reference links

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  • 1 decade ago

    They round to the nearest GB. hence 1024 would be 2 512MB sticks, plus your computer uses some of that hard drive space for drivers and configurations. In reality they say 1 GB of ram not hard drive space . its actually less if you bought a 1 gb stick then if you bought 2 512mb sticks but if you wanted to upgrade your ram even more you would have an open slot because you only have one stick in there(the 1 GB) instead of 2 512MB sticks

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  • 1 decade ago

    Actually, The difference is because of the two different numbering systems, decimal (which humans use) and binary ,or hexadecimal, (which computers use). Rounding the binary number 1024 to 1000 is easier for non-mathematical people to understand.

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  • 1 decade ago

    yes it is an annoance. but thats the way it is.

    also remember , the file allocation table / index for the drive does take up a chunk.

    so it's confusing if you assume that your getting the value stated on the box, but then most people make an allounce for the FAT etc.

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  • 1 decade ago

    they round it off and your drive total capabilty vs. what you have is that the few megs you are "missing" is being taken up by your operating software and the like

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