Which is Bigger - KB or MB?

Which is Bigger - KB or MB?

When we talk about computer memory, we speak in terms of KB, MB, etc. However, which of the two is bigger is the question most of us face? Let's find out.
Techspirited Staff
Last Updated: Mar 26, 2018
Are you baffled, like me, about how much memory and storage space does your computer have? Are you are also confused between KB, MB, GB? We will figure out what these units means and which is the bigger one in this write-up.

Bit

A bit is defined as a variable which can have only two possible values. Each bit denotes the binary value of either 1 or 0, which are interpreted as binary digits. The correspondence between these values of 0 and 1 and the physical states of the underlying storage or device is a matter of convention.

Byte

A unit of digital information in computing and telecommunication is called a byte. It is nothing but an ordered collection of bits. Historically speaking, a byte was the number of bits that were used to encode a single character of text in a computer. Hence, it is the basic addressable element in many computer architectures. The size of a byte is typically dependent on the hardware but the modern standard is 8 bits, because it is a convenient power of 2. The number of bits are only different powers of 2, like 8, 16, 32, 64, etc. A term called 'octet' was explicitly defined to stand for a sequence of 8 bits to avoid the ambiguity associated with the term byte. A byte is the smallest unit of data which can be processed on any computer.

The Result

We have seen what exactly are bits and bytes in computer memory. The next term, which we need to know is kilobyte which is represented as KB. A kilobyte represented in binary is 1024 bytes and is represented as 210. It can also be used to represent the 1000 bytes or 103, which is the decimal interpretation. This may be a little confusing but note that binary KB is bigger than the decimal one by 24 bytes. When represented in the binary system MB is 1,048,576 bytes or 220 bytes and it stands for megabyte. However, in the decimal system, it stands for 1,000,000 bytes or 106 bytes. In the decimal system, MB stands for megabits.

1 bit = 1 or 0
1 nibble = 4 bits
1 byte = 8 bits
1 KB (one Kilobyte) = 1024 bytes
1 MB (one Megabyte) = 1024 KB = 1,048,576 bytes

Now with the introduction of the term kilobit and megabit, do you wonder where are they used? These terms are used in data transfer speed on the Internet or Intranet. Kilobits are often written as kbps and kilobytes are written either as Kbps or kBps and megabits are written as mbps while megabytes are written as Mbps or mBps.

1 kbps = 1000 bits per second
1 mbps = 1,000,000 bits per second

From the entire discussion, it is clear that MB is bigger than KB, whether you use the decimal system or the binary system.