Computer Software

What do the prefixes attached to bytes mean?
Answered by Discovery Channel
  • Discovery Channel

    Discovery Channel

  1. When reading about computers, you probably encounter many different prefixes attached to the word "byte." For example, the amount of random access memory (RAM) a computer has might be expressed in megabytes, while the computer's permanent hard disk space is figured in gigabytes. A newer and more powerful computer could describe its RAM capabilities in gigabytes and its hard drive in terabytes. These prefixes refer to increasing multiples of bytes, which are standard data units composed of eight bits (single binary digits) apiece. The following list explains how many bytes each prefix represents:

    • Kilo = 1,024 bytes (KB)
    • Mega = 1,048,576 bytes (MB)
    • Giga = 1,073,741,824 bytes (GB)
    • Tera = 1,099,511,627,776 bytes (TB)
    • Peta = 1,125,899,906,842,624 bytes (PB)
    • Exa = 1,152,921,504,606,846,976 bytes (EB)
    • Zetta = 1,180,591,620,717,411,303,424 bytes (ZB)
    • Yotta = 1,208,925,819,614,629,174,706,176 bytes (YB)


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