Poll: Gigabytes vs. gibibytes

You may not know it, but the world of technology is split into two camps right now. For one camp, megabytes, gigabytes, and terabytes are all powers of 10. Hard drive makers are part of that clique, as is Apple, at least since the release of Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard. For the other camp—the traditionalists, if you will—those same units are powers of two. On that side of the ring, we find Microsoft, memory vendors, and just about anyone who doesn't know the difference.

Some of the folks who subscribe to the base-10 way of thinking use another set of terms to define the powers of two that were standard for so long: mebibytes (MiB), gibibytes (GiB), and tebibytes (TiB). That scheme follows the IEEE 1541 standard, which defines a MiB as 220 bytes and a MB as 106 bytes. You might see that standard followed here and there in some open-source apps, but it's far from having entered mainstream usage.

In today's poll, we wanted to see how TR readers split up between those two camps. So, we're asking a simple question: would you say a PC has 4GB of RAM or 4GiB? Take your pick in the poll below. You can also vote on our front page.

Last time, we asked about the season's best PC games. 5183 readers gave us their two cents, and just over half of them were split between BioWare's Dragon Age: Origins and Infinity Ward's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. (The former won the contest with 27% of the vote.) At a safe distance behind the gold and silver medalists was Left 4 Dead 2 with the bronze medal, followed by runners-up Borderlands and Batman: Arkham Asylum. Other picks garnered 5% of the votes or less.

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