500GB drive - only 465GB available!

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by joefinan, Jan 11, 2008.

  1. joefinan macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2007
    Location:
    Kingston-Upon-Thames, UK
    #1
    I know there's this odd discrepancy with GBs, but I've just bought a 500GB drive which actually only has 465GB available (170MB used).

    But that's a whole 35GB that I thought I had that I don't. That's tonnes! How can they sell it saying 500GB when my computer then tells me there's nowhere near that much. Surely that's a trading standards issue?!

    So why the discrepancy?
     
  2. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Indianapolis
  3. deputy_doofy macrumors 65816

    deputy_doofy

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2002
    #3
    This is a fun answer. You see, the hard drive manufacturers are rounding the numbers down, which sucks.
    Manfacturers say 1000k == 1mb, but in reality, 1024k == 1mb.

    So, when a manufacturer claims 500gb hard drive, they mean:
    500,000,000,000 bytes (instead of 536,870,912,000 bytes)
    Let's do the math.
    From bytes to kb, divide by 1024.
    500,000,000,000 / 1024 = 488,281,250kb
    488,281,250 / 1024 = 476,837.158mb
    476,837.158203125 / 1024 = 465.661gb
     
  4. USMCmac30 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2008
  5. jeremy.king macrumors 603

    jeremy.king

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    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    #5
    That's so 20th century :)

    Let google do it!
     
  6. bigsprinta macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2008
    #6
    Well, thanks to Google and the efforts of kingjr3, I think we can consider this case closed.
     
  7. dvd macrumors regular

    dvd

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2007
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    #7
    Technically, there's no rounding involved. Drive manufacturers are reporting their sizes in gigabytes. Some people are mistakenly equating gigabytes (GB) and gibibytes (GiB). SI units vs IEC units, very commonly confused.. wikipedia clarification.
     
  8. motulist macrumors 68040

    motulist

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2003
    #8
    You and billions of the rest of us are being marketed horse manure. This deceptive practice has been going on since storage devices crossed the 1 MB mark by at least 1972, and maybe even earlier. Check out this table on wiki and look at the last 2 columns that show the marketed capacity and the actual formatted capacity.

    It's been said before and I'll say it again, all it'll take to end this deceptive practice is a single class action law suit. I'm surprised it hasn't happened already.
     
  9. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #9
    It has.

    It's not deceptive in the least.
    You buy a 500 Gb hard drive, it has 500 billion bytes on it.
    The fact that the computer reports it as 465 Gb is immaterial, it still has 500 billion bytes.
    What you're saying is -- I want to buy a 500 Gb device and get 535 billion bytes, and if I don't I call that deceptive.

    And every device advertised or sold in the past, I dunno, 6 years? - has a disclaimer on the package or ad that stipulates the difference between Gb and binary Gb
     
  10. dvd macrumors regular

    dvd

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2007
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    #10
    Funny, I've understood the difference between base-10 and base-2 mathematics since I was in middle school in the mid-eighties. I don't see the deception.
     
  11. motulist macrumors 68040

    motulist

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2003
    #11
    Because they are selling a computer device, which operates in base 2, not base 10. Because the only reasonably explicable reason that they market the products as they do is to deceive consumers. Because there's absolutely no rational reason why they would market the disk size in base 10 and use a tiny asterisk pointing to a tiny line in tiny fine print to explain what that size actually means when the product is used in the only way it was intended to be used.

    This question has forever been continually asked ad nauseam in every tech forum, so it's clearly deceiving many, many consumers.

    Honestly, your comment comes off making you sound like an arrogant, obnoxious, small-minded jerk. I'm not saying you actually are, I'm just saying that your comment show a huge lack of awareness and empathy. What you said in your comment is like you saying 'I didn't fall for that telephone mortgage scam, so it's not wrong when scammers do it to elderly, poverty-stricken, uneducated, widows and steal their houses.'

    Just because it didn't deceive you personally, doesn't mean it isn't deceptive.
     
  12. Tilpots macrumors 601

    Tilpots

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    Apr 19, 2006
    Location:
    Carolina Beach, NC
    #12
    Sounds like lawyer (or retailer) speak to me!:p
     
  13. dvd macrumors regular

    dvd

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2007
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    #13
    We're arguing deception vs. confusion. It's about intent and the fundamental attribution error. You're vilifying an industry for a practice they've had in place since before there was such thing as a personal computer. Sure, they haven't adapted to their newfound audience but that doesn't make them deceptive. The CEO of Seagate didn't wake up one morning and say, "Let's tell people they are buying 500GB but secretly short them 35GB." That doesn't give them any advantage over their competitors since they all do it. What benefit does it provide them?

    No harm, no foul.. and didn't mean to come across like a putz, thanks for leaving me an out! ;-)
     
  14. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    #14
    The difference in the math is about 7%, I think you can do that math quite easy for 500GB -- 7*5 = ... less.
     
  15. deputy_doofy macrumors 65816

    deputy_doofy

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2002
    #15
    I'm not saying I'm confused. I'm just saying I don't like it.

    When RAM manufacturers say 1gb, they mean 1,073,741,824 bytes.
    When HD manufacturers say 1gb, the mean 1,000,000,000 bytes.

    I'd pay some extra bucks to get a real 500gb drive versus the typical manufacturer meaning. Someone needs to create it. :D
     
  16. dante@sisna.com macrumors 6502a

    dante@sisna.com

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2006
    #16
    But it is a Real 500gig drive.

    Really.
     
  17. macleod199 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2007
    #17
    Wait until NAND (e.g. flash) drives catch up, they're generally produced in powers of 2. There'll still be some space lost to file system formatting, though.
     

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