How many gigabytes and megabytes are actually a terabyte?

how many megabytes gigabytes

The conversion number of 1.000 is the most common one for laypeople when it comes to converting units from IT, but it is not that precise. Therefore, I would like to briefly explain to you what a terabyte (TB) is all about. And I would like to give a few examples of what data and in what amount could actually be stored on 1 TB. Yes, right, this is going to be a nerd article again;)

One terabyte is the equivalent of many megabytes

Let's not saddle up the horse from behind. Let us first take a look at the smallest unit that the layman - that is to say for the most part also to me - should be familiar; the bit. 8 bits make up one byte. And that brings us to the smallest storage unit. So that we don't get confused, here is a small overview of the conversions:

  • 8 bits are 1 Byte
  • 8.192 bits are 1.024 bytes 1 kilobyte
  • 8.388.608 bits are 1.048.576 bytes which are 1.024 kilobytes 1 Megabyte
  • 8.589.934.592 bits are 1.073.741.824 bytes which are 1.048.576 kilobytes which are 1.024 megabytes Gigabyte 1
  • 8.796.093.022.208 bits are 1.099.511.627.776 bytes are 1.073.741.824 kilobytes are 1.048.576 megabytes are 1.024 gigabytes 1 Terabyte
convert gigabyte to terabyte

We all use digital storage in the form of bits and bytes. But how many megabytes is a gigabyte and what is a terabyte? You can get the answers here (finally!). Image source: Pixabay

As I said: that was IT for laypeople

Actually, I gave you the values ​​for the binary names of the storage amounts in the overview. This means that it is a byte, kibibyte (KiB), mebibyte (MiB), gibibyte (GiB) and tebibyte (TiB). The decimal designations (byte, kB, MB, GB, TB, ...) are basically converted to 1.000, but are technically not really accurate. By the way, you will find a helper for conversions here .

What can you store on a terabyte?

If you want to know how much music, how many text documents, how many films or how many selfies you can save on a terabyte, you will unfortunately have to be satisfied with approximate estimates. Because not every photo, not every music file and not every text is the same in memory consumption. Especially with the same quality, "Song 2" by Blur (2:00 minutes) and "Angstkathedrale" by ASP (17:06 minutes) would offer significantly different values.

So if we roughly calculate with an average size of 5 MB per song (medium to high quality), we come to 209.715 music tracks on 1 TB. If we go into more detail and say that we save audio files with 44 kHz and 128 kBit, then we come to an average of 1 MB (in MP3 format) for one minute. This means that a fully available terabyte would hold 1.048.576 minutes of music. It is not uncommon for 10 MB per minute to be seen in WAV format. It is important to note that. Format, dimensions and color spectrum are also decisive for images. Format, formatting and similar components play a role in text files.

Perhaps with regard to text files it is still good to know that - considering the pure text - one gigabyte corresponds to around 200 Bibles, or 500 to 2.500 kilograms of paper. Where does this data come from? From this interesting thought experiment.

Conclusion on the topic

A terabyte is still a lot of storage space. Of course, the demands are getting higher and higher and due to the digitization of society and industry, petabytes and exabytes will soon be required; Big data and deep learning are just two important keywords. What do you use in everyday household use? Please leave me a comment. Thanks!



  1. Stephen Balzer says:

    the conversion from bit to byte contains a serious error.
    8 bits corresponds to 1 byte is still correct.
    192 bits are not 1024 bytes but
    8192 bits corresponds to 1024 bytes equal to 1 kilobyte
    Accordingly, the other conversions are also wrong.

    Please correct. Thanks.
    Mit freundlichen Grüßen
    Stefan Balzet

    • Johannes Domke says:

      Hi Stefan,
      thanks for the hint! The eights were lost due to the formatting as a list when creating the article.
      But now everything should be right.
      Best regards and have a nice weekend!

  2. Andrew Nigl says:

    that's really funny here, so arithmetic isn't your thing either.

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