FAT 16 Vs. FAT 32

Difference between FAT 16 and FAT 32
With the advent of FAT32 the efficiency issues resulting from the large cluster sizes that accompany the use of large partitions under FATI6 go by the wayside. A user can install an 8.4GB hard drive, partition it as a single drive and still have it be 4 times as efficient as a 1 GB partition under FATI6.
Simply put, a cluster is the smallest amount of drive space that any given file can occupy. No matter what the size of the file is, it will use up one cluster. With both FATI6 and FAT32 cluster size grows incrementally with the size of the partition…the smaller the partitions you have the smaller the smallest possible file can be.
Besides being more efficient the FAT32 file system supports much larger partitions. While under FATI6 the absolute maximum size any single partition could be is 2 GB (2048 MB), FAT32 supports partitions up to 2 TB (that’s terralzytes, 2000 GB or 2,000,000 MB). As there are no 2 TB hard drives on the market and there aren’t likely to be any available anytime soon one can consider the potential size ofa single partition to be virtually unlimited.

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  • Ben R.

    There actually ARE 2TB drives on the market. Plus, we have NTFS now.