ForumsITGeneral • Giga Hurts
By: raymond25
So what is the difference between gigahertz and a gigabyte?
May 12, 2014 at 11:39am
By: jenniferrichard
That is a great question for our IT department. I will make sure they reply.
May 13, 2014 at 10:39am
By: jdorman
Hertz (Hz) is a measure of frequency commonly thought of as speed. 1 Hertz is equivalent to one cycle per second. This makes one gigahertz (GHz) is 10^9 Hz or 1,000,000,000 cycles per second.

Byte (B) is a measure of digital information commonly thought of size or space. One Byte consists of 8 bits of binary information. This gives a Byte a value of up to 2^8 or 0 to 255. One GigaByte (GB) is is 10^9 B or 1,000,000,000 Bytes. While a GigaByte (GiB) is equivalent to 1,073,741,824 Bytes. To make matters more confusing one Gigabit (Gb) and one Gigabit (Gib) also have completely different values.
May 14, 2014 at 11:32am
By: raymond25
Thanks, but I'm still a little bit confused. So what is the difference between a bit and a byte?
May 14, 2014 at 11:32am
By: jdorman
A bit is analogous to a light switch. It has a value of 0 or 1, on or off, true or false, yes or no.

A byte is like a series of 8 light switches in a row. Each can hold a value of 0 or 1 when lined up there are 256 total possible sequences the light switches could be in. This gives the total value a range of 0 when all of the switches are off (we start from 0 not from 1 as the system can have a 0 value) up to 255 when all of the switches are on.

Also a bit is like a crumb or a spec whereas a byte is something you take from a sandwich. If you take a byte size candy bar, freeze it and smash with a hammer you will have bit sized pieces lying all over :D
May 14, 2014 at 11:47am
By: raymond25
Thank you for that graphic illustration... I finally get it!
May 14, 2014 at 11:55am
By: sawyerzent
This reminds me of the mb/s problem. I've been told that the numbers that ISP advertise doesn't really give you a good idea of how many megagbytes you are getting. What gives?
May 19, 2014 at 12:39pm
By: jdorman
Network traffic is generally measured in bits per second (bps) while file sizes and storage are generally measured in Bytes (B). This causes a tremendous amount of confusion when consumers purchase bandwidth. In general the speed purchased in bandwidth is 8 times lower than expected. An 8Mbps internet connection is ~ 1MBps.
May 20, 2014 at 10:59am
By: sawyerzent
Ah, 8 times lower, I will have to remember that to help me not get banboozled in the future
May 21, 2014 at 12:44pm
By: eddieng
I find it funny that words like bits and bytes have become common enough words, but it's strange that people don't have a stronger grasp on the concept.
May 21, 2014 at 4:40pm
By: sawyerzent
That's just the thing, companies seem to be able to take advantage of that lack of knowledge in their marketing. Then again it doesn't help that the terminology is so similar, how am I supposed to remember Mbps vs MBps?

It reminds me too of something I was reading recently regarding the theory behind the spelling of compact DISC vs floppy DISK.
May 22, 2014 at 10:14am
By: eddieng
That sounds interesting. Was that an online article? If so, could you provide a link?
May 22, 2014 at 3:55pm
By: sawyerzent
It wasn't one article in particular, I just noticed they were spelled differently so I started looking around. The reason why depends on who you ask, but generally DISC is traditionally a term for any flat circular shape so it describes a CD etc. DISK (or diskette) is a little more specific to computers, and could refer to any type of computer storage, especially magnetic media.
May 23, 2014 at 3:00pm
By: eddieng
I wonder what prompted the creation of such a similar name. It can get a little confusing since there is a difference.
June 9, 2014 at 4:18pm
By: sawyerzent
It's a conspiracy, that's the only explanation.
June 11, 2014 at 3:15pm