How Many Gigabytes Are In A Terabyte?

How Many Gigabytes Are In A Terabyte?

Do you ever find yourself wondering just how much bigger a terabyte (TB) is than a gigabyte (GB)?

With the increasing number of digital content and storage services available today, it’s important to understand the difference between these two units of data measurement.

Key Takeaways

  • 1 Terabyte is equivalent to 1,000 Gigabytes according to decimal measurements whilst 1024 Gigabyts according to Binary.
  • The binary system assigns a byte 8 bits, while the decimal system assigns 7 bits plus one additional bit for error checking.
  • Compression allows for more efficient use of available storage space but can result in quality loss when dealing with multimedia files such as videos and images.
  • Storing data involves using both SSDs and HDDs for larger capacity solutions making sure everyone’s online resources are secure and providing notable improvements in usability, performance and convenience due to the scalability potential of such comprehensive solutions.

What is a Gigabyte?

A gigabyte (GB) is a unit of computer information denoting 1,000,000,000 bytes that is commonly used to measure disk drive capacity.

However, when it comes to measuring the actual storage capacity on a computer or device’s hard drive instead of using the standard metric systemof gigabytes manufacturers opt for an alternative binary interpretation when defining how much data can be stored; this equals one gibibyte (or GiB) which is equal to 1024 bytes.

What is a Terabyte?

On the other hand a terabyte (TB) is equivalent to more than a trillion bytes and depending on whether you are operating in binary or decimal systems translates into either 1024 gigabytes in binary or 1000 GB in base 10.

These calculations can become vital business considerations when calculating data needs as something like media files could lead to major discrepancies if interpreted improperly often leading to insufficient storage capabilities where companies assumed higher capacities would be available.

Binary And Decimal Measurement Systems

The binary system consists of powers of 2 units such as bytes (B), kilobytes (KB), megabytes (MB) etc., while the decimal system works on multiples of 10 units such as deci-byte (dB), centi-byte (cB) and milli-byte (mB).

A gigabyte is a unit consisting of 1,073,741,824 bytes or 2^30 bytes in the binary system; 1 million millionbytes or 109 octets in the metric system.It’s biggest advantage lies in being able to precisely represent file sizes which are usually expressedin binary form due to it’s more convenient usage with computers.

The International Unit System standardized this binary prefix so that it can be effectively understood worldwide.

A terabyte equals 1000 Gigabytes according to decimal measurements whilst 1024 Gigabyts according to Binary; approximately equal 0.9095 TiB if calculated using IEC standards providing an easier way for global audiences to interpret information regardless of their local language settings.

Conversion Formula

In binary, an individual byte consists of eight bits, while in the decimal system a byte holds seven bits plus one additional bit for error checking. This difference is what causes variations in sizes when it comes to measuring file size or hard drive capacity – a megabyte (MB) in binary form is 1,048,576 bytes compared to 1 million bytes when following the decimal method.

The same pertains to gigabyte (GB) measurements; GBs measure 1 billion bytes in a decimal system and 1 trillion bytes using the binary interpretation – significantly larger than a GB according to traditional decimal rules.

Since terabytes (TB), which contain over one trillion bytes of information within each unit of measure follow this rule as well – TBs translate into 1024 gigs using binary interpreters or 1000 gigs if following the standard metric system – accurately identifying TB size can prove difficult without understanding both types of measurement systems and which type is being used by particular applications or devices.

To explain differences more clearly many companies marketing their tech products simply list their specs at “1000GB” instead of indicating whether they use teh central processing unit convention abbreviated as “GiB” signifying that they label capacities with the typical reactionary compression factor of tenfold against its true meaning technically accurate values , simplifying things for customers comparison shopping.

Examples Of GB In A TB

One terabyte (TB) is equivalent to 1,000 gigabytes (GB) in the decimal system and 1024 GB in the binary system. To give you an idea of what a terabyte can store, here are some examples:

  • Approximately 10 million photos taken by an average smartphone camera, with each image around 100 kilobytes in size.
  • Over 200,000 songs with an average file size of 5 megabytes (MB).
  • Around 500 hours of high – definition video with each hour occupying approximately two gigabytes.
  • Over one million e – books or text documents with each document estimating between two to five MB.
  • More than ten thousand software applications downloaded from the internet, with each application occupying an estimated hundred MB.
  • A massive amount of data for cloud computing, server storage, media production, gaming, and high – performance computing.

Overall, one terabyte storage can handle a considerable amount of digital information that can serve personal or business purposes.

Gigabytes To Terabyte Conversion

Measurement System 1 Gigabyte (GB) 1 Terabyte (TB)
Decimal (Base-10) 1,000,000,000 bytes 1,000,000,000,000 bytes
Binary (Base-2) 1,073,741,824 bytes 1,099,511,627,776 bytes

As seen in the table above, the decimal system implies that 1 terabyte is equal to 1,000 gigabytes, whereas the binary system indicates that 1 terabyte is equivalent to approximately 1,024 gigabytes. 

Real-life Examples And Comparisons

Here are some real-life examples that showcase how these conversions work:

  • A 500GB HDD typically has about 463GB of usable data in terms of decimal system while it would have 476GB of usable data when using binary system.
  • An external hard drive with 32TB would have about 33 128 853 933 632 bytes when using decimal system while it would have 35 563 249 062 688 bytes when using binary system.
  • Popular devices such as smartphones generally have storage capacities between 16 and 32gb while console gaming platforms usually feature up to 1TB+.
  • Music files are usually quite small so if you had 10 songs that took 50mb each then that would be about .5gb in total while photos and videos take more space so e.g 150 photos at 10mb each will add up to about 1.5gb which is equivalent of 0.0015 tb in terms of decimal system or 0.0014 tb according to binary system calculated.

Storage Capacity Of Popular Tech Devices And Platforms

Device/Platform Storage Capacity
Smartphones 16 GB, 32 GB, 64 GB, 128 GB, 256 GB, 512 GB, 1 TB
Personal Computers (HDDs & SSDs) 250 GB, 500 GB, 1 TB, 2 TB, 4 TB, 8 TB, 16 TB
Gaming Consoles 500 GB, 1TB, 2 TB
External Hard Drives 500 GB, 1 TB, 2 TB, 4 TB, 6 TB, 8 TB, 10 TB
Cloud Storage Platforms 5 GB, 15 GB, 50 GB, 100 GB, 200 GB, 2 TB, 10 TB, 20 TB, 30 TB

Factors affecting terabyte storage capacity include file type, compression, and redundancy.

Different file types, such as images, videos, and documents, have varying sizes and require different amounts of storage space. For instance, high-definition video files require more storage space as compared to text documents.

How Much Data Can One TB Store?

Audio And Video

  1. The amount of data required for audio files depends on the recording quality, format, and length. For example, a 3-minute MP3 file at 320 kbps can take up approximately 7-8 MB of space.
  2. High-quality lossless audio formats like FLAC can result in larger file sizes – a typical album can take up between 300-500 MBs.
  3. The size of video files varies greatly depending on factors like resolution (e.g., 480p, 720p, or 1080p), frame rate, codec used to compress the video (e.g., H.264 or HEVC), and length.
  4. A one – minute HD video recorded using a smartphone can consume roughly 100 MBs of storage space when compressed using H.264 codec.
  5. A full – length movie in standard definition (SD) quality (i.e., 480p resolution) can result in a file size ranging from 700 MBs to 1 GB if compressed using H.264 codec.
  6. For high-quality video resolutions like Full HD (1080p) or Ultra HD (4K), the file sizes can be considerably larger – up to several GBs.

Document And Text Files

  • A typical Microsoft Word document is about 20 – 50 KB in size. This means that one terabyte (TB) can hold around 20 million to 50 million Word documents.
  • PDF files can vary widely in size depending on the content and quality of images included, but on average, a standard PDF file is about 1-2 MB. This means that one TB can store around 500,000 to one million PDF files.
  • Plain text files are very small in size, usually only a few kilobytes per file. This means that one TB can store billions of plain text files.
  • Spreadsheet files (like Microsoft Excel) tend to be larger than text documents because they often include calculations and formulas. A typical Excel file is about 100 KB to several MB in size, though larger spreadsheets with lots of data or complex formulas can be much larger.

Remember, these estimates are just averages – the exact amount of data that can be stored on a TB drive will depend on the specific types of files being stored, as well as the quality and compression used for each file.

Images And Photos

Managing images and photos can take up a considerable amount of digital storage. Here are some important facts to know when dealing with image and photo data:

  1. The size of an image or photo varies, from a few kilobytes (KB) to several gigabytes (GB).
  2. Many websites use image compression to reduce file sizes while maintaining quality.
  3. Assuming each picture is 1 MB in size, a website could handle approximately 10 million images per month.
  4. Including multiple photos on a single page increases the amount of data transferred.
  5. High – resolution images and photos can quickly consume large amounts of data storage.
  6. Estimating traffic is essential in determining how much data transfer is required each month for website optimization.
  7. Regularly organizing and optimizing image and photo data can save significant amounts of disk space over time.
  8. Some businesses may require terabyte-sized data storage for managing large numbers of high-resolution images or video content.

Music, Photo, And Video Storage Comparison

File Type File Size Storage in Gigabytes Storage in Terabytes
Music (MP3) 5 MB 200,000 songs in 1,000 GB (decimal) or 209,715 songs in 1,024 GB (binary) 204,800,000 songs in 1 TB (decimal) or 214,748,364 songs in 1 TB (binary)
Photo (JPEG) 1 MB 1,000,000 photos in 1,000 GB (decimal) or 1,048,576 photos in 1,024 GB (binary) 1,000,000,000 photos in 1 TB (decimal) or 1,099,511,627 photos in 1 TB (binary)
Video (HD) 4 GB 250 videos in 1,000 GB (decimal) or 256 videos in 1,024 GB (binary) 250,000 videos in 1 TB (decimal) or 262,144 videos in 1 TB (binary)


Comparison With Other Storage Units (MB, PB, Etc.)

Here’s an easy-to-understand table that breaks down the differences between common storage units:

Storage Unit Decimal System (1000^n) Binary System (1024^n)
Megabyte (MB) 1,000,000 bytes 1,048,576 bytes or 2^20 bytes
Gigabyte (GB) 1,000,000,000 bytes 1,073,741,824 bytes or 2^30 bytes
Terabyte (TB) 1,000,000,000,000 bytes 1,099,511,627,776 bytes or 2^40 bytes
Petabyte (PB) 1,000,000,000,000,000 bytes 1,125,899,906,842,624 bytes or 2^50 bytes


  • How many gigabytes are in a terabyte?This depends on the metric system used for conversion. In a decimal measurement system, one terabyte is equivalent to 1,000 gigabytes (GBs). Conversely, in a binary measurement system one terabyte is equivalent to 1,024 GBs.

See Also: How Many Terabytes in a Petabyte?

I am a computer engineer holding a bachelor's degree in Computer Science, complemented by a Master's in Business Administration from University of Strathclyde, Scotland. I currently work as a Senior IT Consultant in Melbourne, Australia. With over 15 years of...