What if Computer manufacturers we forced to label HDD's with post OS space?

Discussion in 'Apple, Inc and Tech Industry' started by blueflame, Mar 30, 2008.

  1. blueflame macrumors 6502a


    Apr 3, 2003
    Studio City
    First off, sorry for the long title. I did not know how to make it accurate in less words.
    My question is simple: what if computer manufacturers were forced to label their computers with the user accessible space upon the purchase of the computer.

    It always has annoyed me that the hard drive you buy has less of an available formatted capacity and that there are different terms of describing the same thing.

    If I buy a Mac, or a Dell, or a Whatever, with a 500 gig drive, i want 500 gigs available to me. if they market it as a 450 gig drive, then you know what you pay for.

    Let me say, I know it is not JUST the computer manufacturer, it is also the drive makes fault, but I think this would be such a good industry move. for 2 reasons
    1: it removes confusion from customers, and just seems more honest.
    2: if the computer manufacturers want to advertise the large hard disk capacity, they will be forced to remove crap-ware, and other non-essential software in order to conserve the space, so they can sell for the highest profit.

    Basically, installing the crapware pre-purchase would cost them $/gigabyte. right now they could fill it up for all they care

    so, anyway, what does everyone else think?
  2. Zwhaler macrumors 604


    Jun 10, 2006
    I agree completely. Especially about the crapware part. But I honestly don't care about the crapware, since my Mac doesn't really have any (sure, it came with the Office trial, but that's it). But it will be kind of strange to see "Now with up to 474GB of storage!" But I guess it would make the buyer feel less ripped off.
  3. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Oct 9, 2006
    part of the reason the sizes are off is because the 500Gig is base 10 and computers are base 2.

    Human think in base 10.

    If you look at the hard drive and look at the size in byte it will infact be a little less than what the users as free.

    Remember for a computer there are 1024 bytes in a Kilobyte and 1024 kilobytes in a megabyte and so on.

    Also when you formate a drive there is range on how much space one will get. Reformate the same drive 2 times and you will see that it can vary by 2-3%.

    It kind of a lose lose as we start getting up in sizes. We will start see terabyte drives in the future. This will get confusing in labeling because 1000gigbytes does not = 1 terabyte in base 2.

    I have always been fine with it. Once you remember OS are base 2 and we think base 10 the numbers are fine.
  4. Nermal Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 7, 2002
    New Zealand
    If it was me, I'd advertise a "200 GB" drive as 1440 megabits :cool:
  5. yg17 macrumors G5


    Aug 1, 2004
    St. Louis, MO
    I think hard drive capacities should be advertised in base 2 (or make OSes convert them to base 10, but the former is MUCH more likely to happen), but I disagree with subtracting the space the OS uses.

    If (assuming base 2) a hard drive said it was 500 gigs, you're still getting a 500 gig hard drive. Perhaps a footnote saying "The OS takes up 10 gigs" but it should still be advertised as a 500 gig hard drive. Anyone using a computer should be aware that the OS takes up some space....and if you didn't know that, then you're probably not someone who is likely to even come remotely close to filling up the hard drive.
  6. martychang macrumors regular

    Sep 3, 2007
    Clearly you've never met a teenage girl :rolleyes:
  7. mstens macrumors member

    Mar 13, 2008
    I agree, but I doubt you'll ever get marketing departments to.

    I doubt highly you'll ever have a df -h report in base 10. I'm afraid, that for the time being at least, users will simply have to realize that the two are different. And that a 250gb drive really is about 233 (in base 2)
  8. blueflame thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Apr 3, 2003
    Studio City
    I agree that it is not totally the responsibility of the computer maker to label as such, but I think that if it was forced, it would be a catalyst to removing crapware, and over-bloated OS's
  9. Sky Blue Guest

    Sky Blue

    Jan 8, 2005
    aperture trial...iWork trial...
  10. MisterMe macrumors G4


    Jul 17, 2002
    Have you thought this through? How is the hard drive manufacturer to know which OS will be installed on the drive or how large it will be? Then this makes an issue of what do you count as the OS. Which bundled apps do you count? Which fonts? Which utilities?

    Do you really want different capacities advertised for identical hard drives? Can you spell c-o-n-f-u-s-i-o-n?
  11. blueflame thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Apr 3, 2003
    Studio City
    I do not want to label them too differently, but if Apple, for example. buys a 500 gig HDD, they know that the install of OS X and its software takes 15 gigs, and the formatted capacity is 475 then they should label the drive inside the computer as a computer coming with 460 gigs of usable space. its not that it isnt a 500 gig drive according to different byte systems, it is just more honest, and LESS confusing for the consumer. Apple, Dell, Sony, whomever, they know exactly how much space it takes to install their software, and it is pretty much the same on all computers they manufacture. They know what OS is installed because they install it and market it.

  12. mstens macrumors member

    Mar 13, 2008
    Actually, that'd be a whole lot more confusing. The amount of space taken up by my OS X install is less than an out of the box install, as I'm sure is the case for more than just me. I'd agree that marketing hard drives in base 2 would be a good idea, but like I said before... I doubt you'll see it. Besides, then you'd have consumers wondering why their 298gb hard drive was 312568640k
  13. kuwisdelu macrumors 65816

    Jan 13, 2008
    You got an Aperture trial? My MacBook didn't come with an Aperture trial...

    Also, iWork and Office aren't really bloated crapware (although Office is quite bloated....). Most people use one or the other, so their both being preinstalled as trials is quite convenient, as most only have to enter a serial # instead of installing whichever they use. On most PC's you get tons of little crappy 3rd-party programs that no one ever uses, and which solely exist to take up space.
  14. prestonkd macrumors member


    Jun 15, 2007
    There was a class action lawsuit over this very thing against Maxtor shortly before they were bought out a few years ago. I am sure that as a result of this there is a tiny disclaimer somewhere in the documentaion.

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