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kangaroo
Nov 11, 2003, 04:43 PM
I recently purchased a LaCie d2 250GB FireWire800 drive and the capacity out of the box is ~232GB! I contacted LaCie about this and they responded with the following:

Hello,
Many of the vendors of storage products identify their drive models and capacities by using the same model number and capacity as the original manufacturer of the drive mechanism. However, these model numbers only reflect a hard drive's approximate capacity. Vendors may round down to the nearest "gigabyte" multiple, or hundreds of megabytes.

Another reason your drive's actual capacity may differ from its nomenclature is that hard drive manufacturers use a slightly different yardstick of measurement than your computer does:

The hardware industry measures disk capacity as 1GB=1 billion bytes. Computers measure disk drive capacity as 1GB=1,073,741,824 bytes.

If you take your hard drive size and divide it by 1074 (rounding up) you will get the approx. size in Gigabytes available on the computer.

Additionally, some of the hard drive's capacity is used with formatting and driver data. This includes such essentials as the partition map, the desktop files, the drivers, and directory information.

Information on measurements can be found at: http://mathworld.wolfram.com/Gigabyte.html

'Slightly different yardstick...' ! Ridiculous. I know this is SOP for these companies, but just because everyone dupes the public--doesn't make it right. This LaCie drive should be designated & marketed as a 232GB drive--because that's what it REALLY is. Period.

Wes
Nov 11, 2003, 04:55 PM
Originally posted by kangaroo
I recently purchased a LaCie d2 250GB FireWire800 drive and the capacity out of the box is ~232GB! I contacted LaCie about this and they responded with the following:



'Slightly different yardstick...' ! Ridiculous. I know this is SOP for these companies, but just because everyone dupes the public--doesn't make it right. This LaCie drive should be designated & marketed as a 232GB drive--because that's what it REALLY is. Period.

Every so often somebody posts a thread about this, you'll just have to deal with it. My 120 Gig seagate is 111 gigs formatted. It's in the small print on the bottom of Apple's site. Write a letter to the body in charge of advertising it if bothers you that much.

strider42
Nov 11, 2003, 04:56 PM
Originally posted by kangaroo
I recently purchased a LaCie d2 250GB FireWire800 drive and the capacity out of the box is ~232GB! I contacted LaCie about this and they responded with the following:



'Slightly different yardstick...' ! Ridiculous. I know this is SOP for these companies, but just because everyone dupes the public--doesn't make it right. This LaCie drive should be designated & marketed as a 232GB drive--because that's what it REALLY is. Period.

well, apple themselves just got sued about the same thing. along with every other computer and hard drive manufacturer. But of course its not as simple as that is it. its a matter of definitions. I believe technically the prefix gig means 1 billion, so the drive makerse are probably scientifically correct in asserting that their drives do in fact contain 1 billion bytes of data. Who's to say its not the OS makers fault for using 1024 as the number instead.

The problem is certainly not with lacie. The problem is with two definitions being used for the same thing by everyone in the industry. And I mean every single one. I defy you to show me a drive manufacturer or computer maker who doesn't do exactly the same thing.

Counterfit
Nov 11, 2003, 05:01 PM
Formatting takes up quite a bit of disk space, especially HFS+. As far as I know, they don't receive the drives as formatted (do they?), and since each drive manufacturer measures a GB differently, it would be costly and time consuming checking each and every drive that comes in their doors. Hard drives are advertised with the unformatted capacity, and if you expect more that 95% of that or so, you're just being naďve.

Counterfit
Nov 11, 2003, 05:03 PM
Also, I know that in the pre-Panther Apple System Profiler, it would show the drive's capacity with GB = 1 billion bytes and GB = 1024^3 bytes. If you don't have Panther, check it out, you'll see that the capacity with GB = 1 billion bytes might even be higher than the advertised capacity.

Makosuke
Nov 11, 2003, 07:07 PM
Funny how worked up people seem to get about this. The drive manufacturers--every single one of them--tell you the size of their drives in decimal GigaBytes--multiples of 1,000,000,000, just like LaCie told you. So far as I know, it has been this way for a very long time. If you look at the small print on just about anything related to hard drive size, there will even be a little note to this effect.

They are not lying, and if anything that measurement is correct according to scientific standards--giga = one billion, mega = one million, etc. Look in any physics textbook if you don't believe me.

No matter what kind of drive you have, there's going to be some capacity lost to formatting. I don't think it is actually as much as some people seem to think, but that does eat into your space a bit.

Now, when you boot up your OS--any OS, Win, Mac, and probably Linux, etc--the get info boxes give you sizes in a sort of binary half-breed numbering system, where K = 1024 instead of 1000, M = 1024X1024 = 1,048,576, and G = 1024X1024X1024 = 1,073,741,824.

This is weird, and although I don't know exactly where this convention came from, it has existed for at least a decade or two, probably longer. These would, I believe, more accurately be called GiB, MiB, and KiB (GibiBytes, MibiBytes, and KibiBytes), although almost nobody actually uses this convention.

It is not LaCie's fault that they tell you the capacity of the drive in a reasonable scientific measure instead of the weird numbering system all OSes choose to use. Blame the OS guys for making it confusing, although it's probably too late to change now.

And certainly don't blame any individual company selling hard drives, since they give you the details in the fine print, and if the big print used the OS-given numbers they'd be the only company selling hard drives on earth giving you those numbers, making everybody even more confused ("Hey, I can get a 250GB drive from these guys, and yours is only 232GB--why would I buy that?").

Besides--and I'm not trying to be flippant, or rude--if you know how to use your computer well enough to actually fill a drive with 232GB of files, you are probably well versed enough in technical issues to figure out what's going on here.

LimeLite
Nov 11, 2003, 07:46 PM
Someone is suing about this right now actually, to try and get manufacturers to change it. But alas, not sure if it ever will be changed. just do the math before you purchase.

Counterfit
Nov 11, 2003, 10:05 PM
Originally posted by Makosuke This is weird, and although I don't know exactly where this convention came from, it has existed for at least a decade or two, probably longer. These would, I believe, more accurately be called GiB, MiB, and KiB (GibiBytes, MibiBytes, and KibiBytes), although almost nobody actually uses this convention.[/B] I think it something to do with binary, or something else dealing with 2. since 1024 = 2^10. I suppose since the computers can only deal with 0/1, on/off, yes/no, it's easier and possibly faster for the computer to deal with 2^x than 2*10^x.

kangaroo
Nov 11, 2003, 10:39 PM
It would seem that there is technical and/or historical precedence for the current labeling. With all due respect to those who shrug it off, however, it’s still misrepresentative of the drive’s storage capability and that is wrong. This is the kind of issue which inevitably leads to ‘regulation’. The parties involved should get together and come up with a common nomenclature so that the label accurately reflects the drive’s capacity. It’s that simple and we, as consumers, shouldn’t expect anything less. BTW, did you know that a 2x4 isn't 2" thick or 4" wide; it's only 1 1/2" thick and 3 1/2" wide. :D

Counterfit
Nov 11, 2003, 11:08 PM
they list the pre-planed size. You can buy unplaned wood if you want, it will be 2" x 4"