- Computers & Software
How Much is a Terabyte?
How Much is a Terabyte? A Quick Answer
is the same as a thousand
is the same as one million
How much is a terabyte of disk space anyway? That's the question I asked myself standing in line at my local big box computer retailer. We were purchasing our new handy Acer Aspire One netbook, which has only a 160 gigabyte hard drive.
With computers getting more and more powerful all the time, it is just a bit difficult to keep up with the really big numbers I never even learned in elementary school (or come to think of it, junior high, high school or college.) After all, I wasn't really paying that careful attention in math class. When was I ever going to need to use those big numbers after all? And to add insult to injury, and give away my age a bit, my first computer had a smoking 20 megabytes of disk space. And to me, that was huge! At the time I couldn't even imagine holding a tiny device in my lap that would hold so much information. So without further ado, here is the breakdown.
One Terabyte Equals 6.5 Netbooks
A terabyte-sized hard drive holds the same amount of information as 6 1/2 netbook computers with 160-gig hard drives. I have to confess that the idea of moving to a less is more mindframe with my netbook took quite a bit of getting used to. Wasn't I giving something up if I was letting the internet carry the load of my computing power? Maybe I ought to buy one of those terabyte-sized external hard drives to accessorize my consummately affordable netbook purchase. Besides, I thought to myself, if I'm going to have to network my home PC to my netbook in order to get a wireless connection, why not get a terrabyte-sized external hard disk drive? According to my thinking, I would save about $400 on a new desktop and extend the usable life of my current model for at least another three years.
A Dell Inspiron Desktop Computer has 1 Terabyte Disk Space
But for me, the real question on my mind was how much media is going to fit on a terabyte-sized storage device? Isn't that kind of like buying a 5000 square-foot house for your starter home? After doing some research, I think the answer is a definite, strong no. So many people these days are opting to go disk free with their music, dvd, and photo collections, not to mention directly downloading tv and music files and storing them on their computers instead. I like the idea of having an external storage device so I don't have to spend a weekend transferring my files if I decide to upgrade to a computer that has a tv tuner in it.
I checked the data for DVDs, Blu-ray discs, and photos. You are probably also considering using your disk space for some direct TV and music file downloads too. I didn't do the numbers for the TV files, since so much depends on how you are downloading and what file format you are downloading in.
My 10 megapixle Canon Powershot G-10 camera takes hi-definition pictures that saves to an approximately four megabyte file size. Your pictures may be a bigger or smaller, depending on your camera, but I figured my camera was representative of a middle of the road newer camera. Once you see the numbers, unless you are a professional photographer, you probably won't be taking THAT many pictures anyway. But if you are, you will be pleased to know that disk space is getting cheaper and cheaper.
Terabyte Hard Drive Stores 250,000 Photo Images
One Terabyte Stores Approximately 128 DVD movies
Terabyte Hard Drive Stores 20 Blu-ray discs
My husband recently decided that the time is right to save our badly-scratched DVD movie collection from the three-year old. Our copy of Cars probably won't make it. It is almost scratched beyond recognition.You can back up DVDs to your computer. Most DVDs, with all of the bonus material, use about 8 gigs of space (that's gigabytes for you non-eggheads). Since a terabyte is 1024 gigabytes, you can store about 108 DVDs worth of data on your terabyte drive, if you aren't using it for other stuff.
Blu-ray discs take up significantly more disk space than a traditional DVD, at about 50 gigs. You can store about 20 Blu-ray discs on a terabyte hard drive.
You can increase the number of DVD movies you can back up by only copying the movie and soundtrack files, and leaving the extra stuff off your backup. Use file compression software to further increase the amount of space you can save.