iPhone Capacity?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by bunit, Dec 26, 2008.

  1. bunit macrumors regular

    bunit

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2007
    Location:
    Westerly RI
    #1
    I have a 8gb iPhone 3G. when the phone is connected to my computer, iTunes says the total capacity is like 7.06. Is this normal? Is the missing space from the system files and such?
     
  2. kolax macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2007
    #2
    8GB's unformatted. When you format a drive, you end up with less than the so called "advertised" space.

    Same with all hard drives.
     
  3. firewood macrumors 604

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    Jul 29, 2003
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    Silicon Valley
    #3
    Plus the operating system and built-in apps take-up a good fraction of 1GB.

    .
     
  4. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

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    #4
    You lose space for formatting, you lose space for the OS, and you lose space because all hard drive manufacturers lie to us about the included space. Their definition of a gigabyte is 1,000 megabytes, while the OS' definition of a gigabyte is 1,024 megabytes.
     
  5. kdarling macrumors demi-god

    kdarling

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    Location:
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    #5
    True and a flash file system has up to a 15% overhead.

    Not applicable in this case. The iPhone has a flash memory chip, not a flash drive. It has the full 8GB. (*)

    (*) Minus any bad blocks.
     
  6. tsice19 macrumors 6502a

    tsice19

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2008
    #6
    All above are right.

    It definitely sucks, however, it's the fact of life for all unformatted hard drives.

    My advertised 16GB phone only actually has 14.64 GB of usable space.
     
  7. lakaiordie macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2008
    #7
    its like this for every single kind of drive available.

    why are you complaining about the iphone.

    you should complain to every single company you got a computer from then.
     
  8. tsice19 macrumors 6502a

    tsice19

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    Feb 16, 2008
    #8
    No one's complaining here... this thread is simply an inquiry with responses.
     
  9. Chundles macrumors G4

    Chundles

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    Jul 4, 2005
    #9
    The manufacturers aren't lying, a gigabyte IS 1,000,000,000 bytes. It's the computer that's lying to you when it says that 1024 bytes is a kilobyte. It's not. A "kilo" if anything is 1000 of the item. There is no room to move, no contextual differences, if it's not exactly 1000 of something it's not a "kilo" of it.

    The difference between the advertised space (which is 100% correct) and the bollocks definition a computer uses for a kilobyte (or a megabyte, or a gigabyte etc.) is about 7%. So a 100GB drive which has 100,000,000,000 bytes will have ~93 bullsh*t gigabytes when you plug it into your computer. Then you'll lose a bit to formatting and then in the iPod's case the rest of the "missing" space goes to the OS, built-in apps and the resources they all use.

    1024 bytes is not a kilobyte.
    1024 kilobytes is not a megabyte.
    1024 megabytes is not a gigabyte.

    Because a computer can only think in powers of two the computer manufacturers decided the near-enough is good-enough and an entire generation of threads asking why their new 1TB drive only has 930GB on it were born.

    The manufacturers are doing the right thing, the number of bytes on the box is the number of bytes in the drive. If it says 500GB you're getting 500,000,000,000 bytes. It's at the computer's end where the problem lies.

    SI units are SI units, they have no other definition.

    1000 = kilo
    1,000,000 = mega
    1,000,000,000 = giga

    I simply can't stress this enough.
     
  10. lakaiordie macrumors 65816

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    #10
    well if you own a computer. you should know the reason why
     
  11. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

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    #11
    What in the world makes you think that manufacturers are suddenly going to change their thought processes just for NAND?

    Since Chundles is technically right, why in the twenty-odd years since we've had hard drives to deal with haven't Apple and Microsoft changed their OS' to speak to us in terms of 'ibibytes' rather than the SI prefixes? Since we're shown capacities in the binary, why aren't they expressed as binary? We see "10.24 GB free" at the bottom of our windows instead of "10.24 GiB free"; the real amount.
     
  12. cellocello macrumors 68000

    cellocello

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    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    #12
    So I live 4 megameters from Vancouver?
     
  13. kdarling macrumors demi-god

    kdarling

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    #13
    Because a flash drive and raw memory are NOT the same things.

    I'm an engineer who's designed and programmed flash memory systems.

    A flash drive is a combination of chips/firmware which looks to the outside world as if it was a hard drive, with data storage accessed by sector number.

    A memory chip is just that, a memory chip and those are ALWAYS counted in binary as its data is accessed via binary address lines. And that's all the iPhone has. It uses it logically as a drive for storage, but of course the entire memory is available to the OS.

    The 8GB flash chip used in the iPhone has 2^33 = 8,589,934,592 bytes available for data. (Actually it has much more memory... 8,858,370,048 bytes... but the extra is used for data checksums.)

    First, Chundles is NOT correct. Digital computer memory is counted a different way, and always has been. It's counted in powers of two, because that's the number of states on a digital address line.

    Second, using a lesser meaning for MB is really a fairly new marketing idea. Twenty (even ten) years ago a KB = 1024 and a MB = 1,048,576 even on hard drives. (Once again, it ALWAYS is for memory.)

    PS. Since your profile says you weren't even born until 1989, it's understandable that you wouldn't know computer history. I was born in 1953 and designed my first major digital computer in 1978 after I got out of the Army. That means raw chips, and years before personal hard drives existed.

    Cheers - Kevin
     
  14. Chundles macrumors G4

    Chundles

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    Jul 4, 2005
    #14
    Kilo, mega, giga etc are SI prefixes. Doesn't matter what you're counting they always mean the same thing. They used the wrong terms so many years ago and it stuck - doesn't make it less wrong because a computer can only count in base 2. They should have used different terms like the kibibyte etc.
     
  15. kdarling macrumors demi-god

    kdarling

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    #15
    Alas, that's only true in a perfect world. Now back to reality:

    Yes, we should've, but we never expected computer terms to be used by non-techies. For that matter, let me break it to you that a computer "bug" isn't an insect. Sorry. (And darn it, a biscuit is a piece of bread, not a cookie! Surprise: words can have different meanings even in the same language, much less in engineering.)

    The REALITY is that memory is always counted in powers of two. If you said the iPhone had 128,000,000 bytes of RAM, you'd be WRONG. It has 128MB = 134,217,728 bytes.

    Likewise, for the discussion in this thread, the iPhone has 8GB = 8,589,934,592 bytes of Flash memory. If you claimed it had 8,000,000,000 bytes, you'd be WRONG.

    All the wishing in the world can't change REALITY. This is engineering not social science.

    Regards...
     
  16. lakaiordie macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2008
    #16



    stop trying to stir up sh*t
     
  17. Daveecee macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2008
    Location:
    FL
    #17
    No, Chundles is still right. SI unit prefixes are pretty set in stone, and their meanings are and have been kilo = 1000, etc.

    Exactly. So if it's not social science and, instead, is engineering, we should keep our technical prefixes meaning what they should, eh? Regards...
     
  18. kdarling macrumors demi-god

    kdarling

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    #18
    Yes, he's right about OTHER usages of kilo, mega, etc... but in THIS thread, or any other discussion about the size of memory, those terms have different meanings. ALWAYS.

    Sure, it would be great if those terms had not been (mis)used, but they were and are still. When engineers say 1K of memory, they mean 1024. To a non-engineer, perhaps it seems strange. To someone who thinks in binary or hex addresses (which is what a soft/hardware designer must do), it is not.

    Again, the fact is that the iPhone has a full binary 8GB (8,589,934,592) of flash memory, unlike a flash drive would. Or, in decimal SI terms if you wish, it has 8.59 gigabytes. Interesting, yes?

    Now that should be the start of any discussion about where the memory has been used, in order for the OS to only report 7.06 GB free. Not about decimal vs binary, because that's NOT where it's gone. Much is usually used in the flash file system overhead.
     

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