a hex value is just one way you can choose to represent a number that maybe a, for example, 16 or 32 bit int that you've stored. a quantity is a quantity. it doesn't matter how you then choose to read out those quantities. or a better way to say 'read out' would be represtent.
i was just looking through a c book and it said a common beginner's confusion is getting a number mixed up with its representation. the book says, they ask questions like "how does a number know if it's a hexadecimal number or a decimal?" and to sort this out, the book shows a picture of a bag of marbles with 17 (that's usual human 17 (decimal)) marbles in - imagine an actual picture of 17 marbles. then this next to it there's:
the marbles don't care how we count them.
representation number of marbles
the point is they're *all the same number*, just different representations. the reason the hex one has got 0x on the start is that's the standard way in c to say "this is a hex representation", and the same with the 0 on the front of the octal (which is base 8) representation. the computer stores this decimal 17 number in the way that it wants and suits it, which when it comes down to it is binary.
the thing that'll effect the size of all your "records" is the size or range or spectrum or width or depth of each number that you use: the number of possible numbers a number can be (:) that sentance does actually make complete sense i think). that's the 16bit or 32bit specification. basically it comes down to how many possibities do each of your numbers have? what range will they all fit in? eg, if they are all within the range of 0 - 255 for example (and that range can be used in a different way if you want like, -128 to 127 or anyother 256 values you choose it to represent) then you can use an 8 bit number. 100,000+ 8 bit records will take up exactly half the space of 100,000+ 16bit records. a 16bit number has 65536 possabilities (which is a lot more than twice what an 8bit number will give you - that sort of thing increases exponentially). so long as the number of distinct values that all your records have is less that 65536 then you can use 16bit sized numbers.