File size

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File size measures the size of a computer file. Typically it is measured in bytes. The actual amount of disk space consumed by the file depends on the file system. The maximum file size a file system supports depends on the number of bits reserved to store size information and the total size of the file system.

Binary prefixes for powers of 210 (1024) and decimal prefixs for powers of 103 (1000) are both in use.[1] The International System of Units also allows unambiguous binary prefixes using different names based on an IEC standard, e.g., Kibibyte KiB, Mebibyte MiB, etc. The traditional KB for 1024 bytes is always binary, the corresponding decimal kB for 1000 bytes uses a lower case k for kilo.

With typical disk sector sizes of 512, 1024, 2048, or 4096 bytes decimal prefixes and/or bits are less suited to describe file systems accurately, e.g., the maximal file size on FAT32 is 4 GB−1 B for a binary prefix of bytes, corresponding to 4×1024×1024×1024−1; decimal 4,294,967,295; hexadecimal FFFFFFFF; or binary 11111111111111111111111111111111 in 32 bits.[2]

Conversion table
Traditional units Decimal for comparison
Name Symbol Binary Number of Bytes Equal to Name SI Decimal Number of bits Equal to
Kilobyte KB 210 1,024 1024 B Kilobit kb 103 1,000 1000 b
Megabyte MB 220 1,048,576 1024 KB Megabit Mb 106 1,000,000 1000 kb
Gigabyte GB 230 1,073,741,824 1024 MB Gigabit Gb 109 1,000,000,000 1000 Mb
Terabyte TB 240 1,099,511,627,776 1024 GB Terabit Tb 1012 1,000,000,000,000 1000 Gb
Petabyte PB 250 1,125,899,906,842,624 1024 TB Petabit Pb 1015 1,000,000,000,000,000 1000 Tb
Exabyte EB 260 1,152,921,504,606,846,976 1024 PB Exabit Eb 1018 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 1000 Pb
Zettabyte ZB 270 1,180,591,620,717,411,303,424 1024 EB Zettabit Zb 1021 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 1000 Eb
Yottabyte YB 280 1,208,925,801,182,629,174,706,176 1024 ZB Yottabit Yb 1024 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 1000 Zb

References[edit]

  1. ^ JEDEC Solid State Technology Association (December 2002). "Terms, Definitions, and Letter Symbols for Microcomputers, Microprocessors, and Memory Integrated Circuits" (PDF). JESD 100B.01. p. 8. Retrieved 2009-04-05. 
  2. ^ "Microsoft Extensible Firmware Initiative FAT32 File System Specification, FAT: General Overview of On-Disk Format". Microsoft. 2000-12-06. Retrieved 2011-07-03.