How Many Megabytes Are in a Gigabyte?


Quick Answer

According to the University of Florida, there are 1,024 megabytes in a gigabyte. There is a common misconception that units of measurement used for data storage are based on a decimal system, when these terms are actually measured using a binary system.

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This misunderstanding of data storage measurements causes confusion for individuals with limited exposure to technology. This has led many people to believe that 1,000 megabytes are equal to 1 gigabyte. The similarity between metric units of measure and the taxonomy used in this scenario is no accident. It is the result of short-hand terminology utilized by computer professionals.

Gigabytes and megabytes are in the category of computer data storage measurement units, which are separate from the International System of Units used to measure length, mass and other quantities. The principal unit of measurement of information for computer data storage is the byte. In discussing data volumes in electronics, kilobytes, megabytes, gigabytes and in rare cases, petabytes are typically considered. In most forms of computer architecture, a byte is regarded as consisting of 8 bits. One kilobyte consists of 1,024 kilobytes, and 1,024 kilobytes make one megabyte.

A megabyte is a unit of information or computer storage equal to 1,048,576 bytes. A gigabyte is approximately 1.07 billion bytes. An SI kilobyte, exactly 1,000 bytes, is 2.34 percent less than a binary kilobyte; a decimal gigabyte is 6.87 percent less than a binary gigabyte.

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