What is the Difference between KB vs. MB

By | December 20, 2021
KB vs. MB

KB, MB, and GB are the common units of information volume used in computer storage. A bit is the smallest unit of information. It is either a 0 or 1. You can count bits, but it’s not very practical since humans don’t have 10 fingers.

A byte is the next smallest unit and is equal to 8 bits. All other units of information are derived from bits and bytes and represent a certain number of bits (or bytes).

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There is a difference between KB and MB and between MB and GB. The following table shows the relationship between these three terms:

1KB = 1,024 bytes = 2^10 = 1024 bytes

1MB = 1,048,576 bytes = 2^20 = 1,048,576 bytes

1GB = 1,073,741,824 bytes = 2^30 = 1,073,741,824 bytes

In simple words, each successive term indicates a tenfold increase in the number of bits or bytes.

KB and MB are quite often used for file sizes. However, even if you’re not a computer geek, there is no way to confuse the two because they are always written as uppercase. And they are never abbreviated (at least not in general use).

KB vs. MB
KB vs. MB

There is one exception where these units of measurement get mixed up, though. That is when you’re dealing with processor speeds. For example, a 2 GHz processor can be either 2 GHz or 2.048 GHz depending on context.

In those situations, it’s important to know that 1 GHz = 109 Hz and 1 GHz = 1000 MHz (106 Hz).

But if you’re just looking at a computer file size, don’t worry about this little bit of confusion. You’ll never see KB or MB written as kB or Mb so there’s nothing to worry about there.

KB versus MB. Both of these units are common when talking about storage space or file size. But which is which, and why do they use different abbreviations?

For starters, it’s important to know that a byte (B) is made up of 8 bits (b), and a bit is the smallest unit of computer data. A byte can have a value of either 0 or 1, but both bits together can represent any number from 0 to 255.

The “K” in Kb stands for kilo, which means one thousand. So one kilobyte (KB) is equal to 1,024 bytes, or 2 to the 10th power in base-10 math.

The “M” in Mb stands for mega, which means one million. One megabyte (MB) is equal to 1,048,576 bytes or 2 to the 20th power in base-10 math. To convert between the two units all you need to do is divide by 1,024 or multiply by 1,048,576. For example:

1 MB = 1,048,576 bytes = 2^20 /1024/1024 bytes

1 KB = 1024 bytes = 2^10 /1024/1024 bytes

To convert from KB to MB multiply by 1

SymbolWhat it isHow it is readHow it is usedSample expression
+Addition sign
Logical OR symbol
… plus …
… or …
Sum of a few values
Logical disjunction
3 + 5 = 8
¬(A + B) = ¬A * ¬B
*Multiplication sign
Logical AND symbol
… times …
… and …
Product of two values
Logical conjunction
3 x 5 = 15
¬(A * B) = ¬A + ¬B
xMultiplication sign… times …Product of two values3 x 5 = 15
·Multiplication sign… times …Product of two values3 · 5 = 15
summatiosummation signThe summation of …Sum of many or
infinitely many values
summ 2
integralIntegral signThe integral of …integrationintegralx2 dx = x3/3 + c
doub intDouble integral signThe double integral of …integrationdoub int f(x,ydx dy
trip intTriple integral signThe triple integral of …integrationtrip int f(x,y,zdx dy dz
line intLine integral signThe line integral of …integrationline int F dot prod dx
surf intSurface integral signThe surface integral of …integrationsurf int F(x,y,zdx dy
Subtraction sign
Minus sign
… minus …
Difference of two values,
negative number
3 – 5 = -2
±Plus/minus sign… plus or minus …Expression of range,
error, or tolerance
500 kbps ± 10%
dot proddot product sign… dot …Scalar (dot) product
of two vectors
A dot prod B = B dot prod A
xCross product sign… cross …Vector (cross) product
of two vectors
A x B = – (B x A)
productProduct signThe product of …Product of three up to
infinitely many values
prod 2
^Carat… to the power of …exponent2 ^ 5 = 32
!Exclamation… factorialProduct of all positive
integers up to a
certain value
5! = 120
surd 1Surd… root of …Algebraic expressionsz = surd 5(x + y)
sqr 1Square root symbolThe square root of …Algebraic expressionssqr 2
Continuation sign… and so on up to …
… and so on indefinitely
Extension of sequenceS = {1, 2, 3, …}
/Slash… divided by …
… over …
Division3/4 = 0.75
÷Division sign… divided by …Division3 ÷ 4 = 0.75
per centPercent symbol… percent …Proportion0.032 = 3.2 per cent
per milPer mil symbol… per mil …Proportion0.032 = 32 per mil
ratio sign
… is to …
… such that …
… it is true that …
Division or ratio,
symbol following
logical quantifier or
used in defining a set
2:4 = 20:40for somex : x > 4 and x < 5for allx : x < 0 or x > -1S = {x : x < 3}
|Vertical line… such that …
…it is true that …
Symbol following
logical quantifier or
used in defining a set
for somex | x > 4 and x < 5for allx | x < 0 or x > -1S = {x | x < 3}
::Double colon… averaged with …arithmetic mean3 :: 11 = 7
lemniscate… infinity
… increases without limit
Infinite summations
Infinite sequence
for allx : x <  
(  )Parentheses…quantity…
…set of coordinates…
…open interval
Denotes a quantity, list,
set of coordinates, or an
open interval
(x + y) + z
[  ]Square brackets… the quantity …
… the closed interval …
Denotes a quantity or a
closed interval
w + [(x + y) + z]
(  ]Hybrid brackets… the half-open interval …Denotes a
half-open interval
[  )Hybrid brackets… the half-open interval …Denotes a
half-open interval
{  }Curly brackets… the quantity …
… the SET …
Denotes a quantity or a SETE = {2, 4, 6, 8, …}
=Equal sign… equals …Indicates two values
are the same
-(-5) = 5
2z2 + 4z – 6 = 0
proportioproportionality sign… is proportional to …Indicates two variables
change in direct proportion
x proportio y
~Similarity sign… is similar to …Indicates two objects are
geometrically similar
deltaABC ~ deltaDEF
equal sign
… is approximately equal to …Indicates two values are
close to each other
x + y  z
unequalInequality sign… is not equal to …Indicates two values
are different
x  y
<Inequality sign… is less than …Indicates value on left
is smaller than
value on right
3 < 5
x < y
less eqInequality sign… is less than or equal to …
… is at most equal to …
Indicates value on left
is smaller than or equal to
value on right
x less eq y
>Inequality sign… is greater than …Indicates value on left
is larger than
value on right
5 > 3
x > y
Inequality sign… is greater than or equal to …Indicates value on left
is larger than or equal to
value on right
x ≥ y
|  |absolute value signThe absolute value of …Distance of value from
origin in number line,
plane, or space
| -3 | = 3
deltaincrement sign,
Triangle symbol
the change in …
triangle …
Indicates a small change,
Denotes vertices of the triangle
m = deltay / deltax
deltaABC = deltaDEF
perp symPerpendicularity
… is perpendicular to …GeometryL perp sym M
//Parallel symbol… is parallel to …GeometryL // M
angl symAngle symbolAngle …Geometryangl symABC = angl symDEF
for someExistential quantifierFor some …
There exists a(n) …
Logical statementsfor somex : x > 4 and x < 5
for allUniversal quantifierFor all …
For every …
Logical statementsfor allx : x < 0 or x > -1
¬Logical negation
not …Logical statements¬(¬A) equiv A
implieslogical implication
… implies …
If … then …
Logical statementsimplies B
equivlogical equivalence
… is logically equivalent to …
… if and only if ..
Logical statementsequiv B
thereforThree dots… therefore …
… it follows that …
Logical statements or
mathematical proofs
x = y and y = z
therefor x = z
elem ofElement-of
… is an element of
a set …
Setsa elem of A
elem notNot-element-of
… is not an element of
a set …
Setsb elem not A
subsetSubset symbol… is a subset of …Setssubset B
prop subProper subset symbol… is a proper subset of …Setsprop sub B
unionUnion symbol… union …Setsunion B = B union A
intersecIntersection symbol… intersect …
… intersected with …
Setsintersec B = B intersec A
null setNull symbolThe null set
The empty set
Setsnull set = { }
alephHebrew aleph
Aleph …Transfinite cardinalaleph1 + aleph0 = aleph1
ºDegree symbol… degree(s)Angular measure
T = +20 ºC
 θGreek theta
… theta …Angular variable θ = 90º
φGreek phi
… phi …Angular variablephi = 45º
λGreek lambda
… lambda …Wavelength
Lebesgue measure
lambd lc = 70 cm
lambd lc = 3:1
µGreek mu
micro- (10-6)Prefix multiplierC = 0.001 µF
pi lcGreek pi
… pi …General sciencepi lc  3.14159
omega ucGreek omega
… omega …The volume of an object
Ohms (resistance)
R2 = 330 omega uc
omega lcGreek omega
… omega …Transfinite ordinal
Angular velocity
omega lc = 36,000 rad/s
omega lc = 1/60 s
nat nrsNEnhanced or bold NThe set of natural numbersNumber theory
Set theory
nat nrs = {0, 1, 2, 3, …}
integersZEnhanced or bold ZThe set of integersNumber theory
Set theory
integers = {0, 1, -1, 2, -2, 3, -3, …}
ratnlsQEnhanced or bold QThe set of rational numbersNumber theory
Set theory
ratnls = {a/b | a and b are in integers}
realsREnhanced or bold RThe set of real numbersNumber theory
Set theory
What is the cardinality of reals?
This an important chart worth saving during the studies

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