# Measurement in Computers

October 15, 2020

You might have studied the “Metric System” or “Base 10” system of measurement and are quite familiar with terms like milli, centi, kilo, etc.

In ordinary measurement, 1 Kilo = 1,000 and 1 Mega = 1,000,000

1 kilogram = 1,000 grams

So, if I ask, “Is 1 kilobyte = 1,000 bytes?”. The answer is “NO”.

1 kilobyte = 1,024 bytes.

In fact, in the computer field, 1 kilo is 1,024 and not 1,000.

Why is there a difference of 24, between two “kilos”?

Well, the ordinary measuring system uses a metric system (base 10) and moves

from 10 raised to the 0 = 1, 10 raised to the 1 = 10, 10 raised to the two = 100, and so on. Whereas, when we talk about measurement in the field of computers, we use a binary system (base 2). In base 2, we move from 2 raised to 0 = 1, 2 raised to 1 = 2, 2 raised to 2 = 4.

Since, 2 raised to 10 = 1,024 is very close to 1,000 and 1,000 in the metric measurement system is 1 kilo, hence 2 raised to 10 (= 1,024) is referred to as 1 kilo.

In metric measurement system, 1 Mega (1,000,000) = 1,000 ✖ 1,000 = 1 kilo ✖ 1 kilo

Therefore, in computers, 1 Mega = 1 kilo ✖ 1 kilo = 1,024 ✖ 1,024

1 kilo byte = 1,024 bytes

1 mega byte = 1,024 ✖ 1,024 = 1,048,576 bytes

Now that you know, why there is a difference of 24 between 2 kilos, can you find out how many bytes is 1 Gigabyte?