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Terabyte vs. Gibibyte: What's the Difference?

Edited by Harlon Moss || By Janet White || Updated on November 13, 2023
A terabyte (TB) is a unit of digital data equal to 1,000 gigabytes (GB), or 1 trillion bytes, while a gibibyte (GiB) equals 1,073,741,824 bytes, using a binary measurement system.

Key Differences

A terabyte represents a larger data capacity, commonly used to quantify storage in hard drives and large datasets. A gibibyte, smaller than a terabyte, is often used in computing to measure RAM or disk space, using a base-2 binary system.
Terabytes are part of the decimal (base-10) system, where each unit increases in multiples of 1,000. Gibibytes follow a binary (base-2) system, where each increase is in multiples of 1,024.
In practical applications, consumer hard drives are typically measured in terabytes, reflecting larger storage capacities. Gibibytes, being smaller, are more commonly used in the context of memory size in computing.
The use of terabytes signifies the growing data needs and storage capabilities in modern technology. Gibibytes, while less commonly known, provide a more accurate measurement in binary systems.
Terabytes are often used in everyday language to refer to large data sizes, whereas gibibytes are more specific to technical fields and computing.

Comparison Chart


1,000 GB or 1 trillion bytes
1,073,741,824 bytes


Decimal (Base-10)
Binary (Base-2)


Large data storage, hard drives
Computing, memory size


Larger capacity
Smaller than a TB

Common Use

Consumer products, general data
Technical, computing contexts

Terabyte and Gibibyte Definitions


Used for large data storage measurements.
My external hard drive is 2 terabytes.


A unit of digital data equal to 1,073,741,824 bytes.
This software requires at least 2 gibibytes of RAM.


Commonly used in consumer electronics for storage.
High-resolution movies require terabytes of storage.


A more precise measurement in computing.
Operating systems often use gibibytes for disk space.


Reflects the growing data needs in technology.
Data centers often deal in multiple terabytes.


Commonly used for RAM and disk space measurements.
My computer has 16 gibibytes of memory.


A unit of digital data equal to 1,000 gigabytes.
The server has a capacity of 20 terabytes.


Used in binary computing systems.
The file size is about 5 gibibytes.


1 trillion bytes.
Modern video games can take up several terabytes.


Smaller than a terabyte.
Many small files together might total a gibibyte.


A unit of computer memory or data storage capacity equal to 1,024 gigabytes (240 bytes).


(computing) Strictly, 230 (10243, or 1,073,741,824) bytes or 210 (1024) mebibytes, as opposed to a gigabyte.


One trillion bytes. See Usage Note at gigabyte.


One trillion (1012, or 1,000,000,000,000) bytes or 1,000 gigabytes.


A tebibyte.


A unit of information equal to a trillion (1,099,511,627,776) bytes or 1024 gigabytes


Is a terabyte bigger than a gigabyte?

Yes, it's 1,000 times larger.

What is a terabyte used for?

It's used for measuring large data storage, like hard drives.

Can you have a terabyte of RAM?

Yes, but it's more common in servers and high-end systems.

How many gibibytes are in a terabyte?

About 931.32 gibibytes.

What's the difference in size between a TB and a GiB?

A TB is significantly larger than a GiB.

Are terabytes used in everyday technology?

Yes, particularly in hard drives and large data storage.

Is gibibyte a common term?

It's common in technical and computing fields.

Are TBs used in cloud storage?

Yes, cloud services often offer storage in TBs.

How many bytes are in a gibibyte?

1,073,741,824 bytes.

Is a terabyte a standard measurement?

Yes, especially in consumer electronics and data storage.

Why is a gibibyte used in computing?

It provides a precise measurement using a binary system.

Do smartphones use gibibytes?

Yes, especially for RAM and internal storage.

Do operating systems use GiBs?

Yes, particularly for disk space and memory allocation.

How accurate is a gibibyte?

It's very precise, especially for binary data calculations.

Will I encounter TBs in daily technology use?

Yes, in devices like computers and game consoles.

Can a GiB be converted to GB?

Yes, but the values will differ due to the base-2 and base-10 systems.

Is a TB common in video editing?

Yes, due to the large file sizes of video data.

Is a TB too much for personal use?

Not necessarily, it depends on data storage needs.

Are GiBs and TBs interchangeable?

No, they are different in size and used in different contexts.

What devices typically use terabytes?

External hard drives, servers, and gaming consoles.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.

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