Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between MB and GB

MB vs GB

The rate of data transmission in telecommunications and computer use is based on the number of bits, characters, or blocks in their systems. These are measured in multiple units of bit per second or byte per second.

Bit is short for binary digit which is the amount of stored information in a digital device. It is a variable that has two possible values denoted as Arabic numerals 1 (true) and 0 (false).

Byte is a unit of digital information used in computing and telecommunications. It consists of eight bits to encode a single character of text. It uses teletypewriter codes like the 6-bit codes of the US army and navy.

To reduce transmission costs, the 8-bit code was developed and formed as the basis of early Internet use. Today a byte consists of 16 bits, a kilobyte is 1024 bytes, a megabyte is 1024 kilobytes, and a gigabyte is 1024 megabytes.

In programming languages like C programming language, byte is represented by at least 8 bits while in C++ programming language; it is represented by 8, 9, 16, 32, or 36 bits.

When using multiple units of bytes, prefixes such as kilo (K), mega (M), giga (G), and several others are used. Multiple units are expressed in powers of 2 and have different definitions.

Megabytes

Megabyte is a multiple unit of byte used in the transmission and storage of digital information depending on the context. For computer memory, it consists of 1048576 bytes and for computer storage it consists of one million bytes.

The International System of Units (SI) recommends the definition of one million bytes which is in accordance with networking contexts, hard drives and flash storage, CPU clock speed, and the measure of performance. It uses decimal units in expressing file sizes.

The definition 1048576 bytes is used by Microsoft Windows and in the display of drive capacity and file size. The 1024000 bytes definition on the other hand is used in 3.5 inch HD floppy disk.

Gigabytes

Gigabyte is a multiple unit of byte used for digital information storage and uses the unit symbol GB. The SI uses the definition of one billion bytes in one gigabyte. It has also been used to denote the gibibyte (1073741824 bytes).

For disk storage and data transmission quantities in telecommunications, a gigabyte means one billion bytes. Most hard drive capacities today are measured in gigabytes but different manufacturers still use different definitions which can be confusing.

Summary

1. Both megabyte and gigabyte are multiple units of byte used for digital storage and transmission, the difference is in the number of bytes that they consist of.
2. A megabyte contains one million bytes while a gigabyte contains one billion bytes when they are used for computer data storage like hard and flash drives.
3. When used for computer memory, a megabyte consists of 1048576 bytes.
4. Both follow the International System of Units (SI) definitions but also use the binary definitions depending on how they are used.
5. Most hard drive capacities are measured in GB which is the larger unit of the two.


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