How much storage is actually in a hard drive?

Ok so I have been working on a computer build for a while and I have been using a WD 1 TB hard drive and I recently got a Seagate Barracuda 1.5 TB. However whenever I look at there actual storage size on my computer it says that the WD is 931GB and the Seagate is 1,397GB

I understand that it must be difficult to be exactly 1 TB every time when they make them, but should I really be missing more storage than a high storage smartphone?
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  1. Quote:
    I understand that it must be difficult to be exactly 1 TB every time when they make them

    They never make it 1TB, it how they count it, chart on the right
  2. Best answer
    You have to read the fine print on the boxes. Everything is based on the basic unit of "byte" (1 byte = 8 bits).

    The manufacturers use kilobytes (kB), megabytes (MB), gigabytes (GB) & terabytes (TB) on the packaging when selling the items: 1 kB = 1,000 bytes; 1 MB = 1,000 kB (1,000,000 bytes); 1 GB = 1,000 MB (1x10^9 bytes); 1 TB = 1,000 GB (1x10^12 bytes). They're also essentially working off of the metric (base ten) system.

    For the operating systems, however, they work off of a binary (base 2) system. The closest analog to 1,000 in binary is 2^10, or 1,024. The base units used for storage in the operating systems are kibibyte (KiB), mebibyte (MiB), gibibyte (GiB), & tebibyte (TiB): 1 KiB = 1,024 bytes, 1 MiB = 1,024 KiB (1,048,576 bytes), 1 GiB = 1,024 MiB (1,073,741,824 bytes), & 1 TiB = 1,024 GiB (1,099,511,627,776 bytes). So, since 1 GiB = 1.073741824 GB, a 1,000GB (1 TB) drive shows up as 931 GiB.

    There are 2 sources for the confusion, however. First off, prior to 1998 the terms were essentially interchangeable: 1 kilobyte ~ 1 kibibyte = 1,024 bytes, & was usually written with the first term. From an accuracy standpoint, that wasn't a problem in the DOS & early 16-bit OS days (you know, back when you had to use special software memory managers to access more than 640 kibibytes of memory for programs, & a FPS game like DOOM would fit on 3 floppy disks), when you might be lucky to have a 100 MB hard drive. But as the scale increases, the divergence between, for example, 1 GB & 1 GiB becomes extremely noticeable (as you can attest to yourself). So, a number of international commissions in charge of regulating standards (including the use of metric/SI prefixes) essentially reset the standards: the "normal" metric/SI prefixes would apply for describing the raw, physical storage capacities of devices; & the "digital" prefixes using "-bibytes" would apply when said capacities were accessed through the operating system.

    The 2nd source of confusion, however, is with RAM. JEDEC standards still use the older metric-based descriptions, even though RAM is only designed using multiples of 1,024: so when the RAM stick says it's "4GB", it actually is "4GiB", or 4,294,967,296 bytes of storage.
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