The Calculators

This section is concerned with the TI-83 family of graphing calculators, which all use the same base processor chip — a Zilog Z80. There are five different calculators that are within this group: TI-83, TI-83+, TI-83+SE, TI-84+, and TI-84+SE. Each of these calculators has their own features and unique qualities.

The TI-83 Calculator

ti83.png The TI-83 is the oldest calculator in the group, being released back in 1996. It is designed to be an upgrade from the TI-82, featuring a sleeker case design, more memory (27K bytes of RAM), and a faster processor (6MHz). It kept some of the features the same as the TI-82, such as the screen size and being powered by 4 AAA batteries, to allow for backwards compatibility with the TI-82.

This means that while some of the TI-Basic commands on the TI-83 have a different syntax, at the core the TI-83 can execute the TI-82's TI-Basic programs. Some of the differences between TI-Basic for each calculator are how math is interpreted (implied multiplication versus regular multiplication) and commands that have an opening parentheses attached to the end of them (such as the trigonometry commands). When it comes to assembly programs, however, the TI-83 cannot execute the TI-82's assembly programs without some modification because of the processor upgrade.

The TI-83+ Calculator

ti83plus.png The TI-83+ was released in 1999, and it was meant as an upgrade from the TI-83 with more memory and a faster processor. At the same time, it kept several features of the TI-83 to maintain backwards compatibility: the case design, the screen size (16x8 home screen and 96x64 graph screen), and the link port. There are some major differences, however.

The TI-83+ cannot run assembly programs made for the TI-83 because it uses a different format: there are three built-in commands (AsmPrgm, AsmComp( and Asm() used for running assembly programs, while the TI-83 has no such commands. While the TI-83 uses a 6MHz processor, the TI-83 Plus uses a speedier 8MHz processor. It should be noted, however, that the TI-83+ only runs at the 6MHz speed unless altered by an assembly program.

The TI-83 comes with 24K bytes of available memory built-in, while the TI-83+ comes with 184K bytes of available memory: 24K bytes are RAM and 160K bytes are archive memory, or more commonly called "Flash" memory. Archive memory allows you to store data, programs, applications, or any other variables to a safe location where they cannot be edited or deleted inadvertently from a RAM crash. This creates a compatibility issue with TI-83 TI-Basic, however, because of the use of the Archive and UnArchive commands that are on the TI-83+.

The TI-83+SE Calculator

ti83plus_se.png The TI-83+SE (short for Silver Edition) was the next calculator upgrade in the group. When it was released by TI in 2001, it became instantly popular because of its unique look and increased memory and speed. However, TI has since decided to stop production of it and focus on the TI-84+SE calculator instead. The TI-83+SE has now become somewhat of a collector's item.

After seeing the success of the TI-83 calculator series, TI decided to give their next TI-83 series calculator a unique look to set it apart from the other TI-83 calculators. The TI-83+SE calculator look consists of a transparent silver case with silver sparkles sprinkled throughout. What really made the calculator shine, though, was that the transparent case allowed you to see what the internals of the calculator looked like without even having to open up the calculator.

In addition to the unique look, TI also decided to upgrade the memory and speed. While maintaining almost complete backward compatibility, the TI-83+SE features 128K bytes of RAM and 1.5M bytes of archive memory. It should be noted, however, that only 24K bytes of RAM are available to TI-Basic programmers (you need to use assembly to access all 128K bytes). The TI-83+SE uses a 15MHz processor, but it can also be made to run at the 8MHz and 6MHz speeds through assembly.

The TI-84+ Calculator

ti84plus.png The TI-84+ was released in 2004, and it was meant to be an upgrade of the TI-83+. The TI-84+ introduces a couple new things to the TI-83 calculator series: a built-in clock and a mini USB link port. The built-in clock can be used in TI-Basic by using the new clock commands that go with it, while the mini USB link port greatly increases the speed of linking the calculator to a computer.

The TI-84+ also improves upon the TI-83+ in terms of memory and speed: 24K bytes of RAM and 480K bytes of archive memory; and a 15MHz processor (the same one that the TI-83+SE has). The most obvious change that the TI-84+ brings is a completely new case design. Gone are the slightly rounded edges and appearance; in its place is an almost circular look from the front, with the edges smoothly flowing around to the back of the calculator.

The TI-84+SE Calculator

ti84plus_se.png The TI-84+SE was released along with the TI-84+ in 2004, kind of like a TI-83 calculator series package upgrade. The TI-84+SE was meant to be an upgrade of the TI-83+SE, and it includes the same upgrades that the TI-84+ got. The two new innovations that the TI-84+SE introduces are: interchangeable faceplates and a kickstand; these things are basically optional add-ons for your calculator.

The interchangeable faceplate can be useful if you want to change the front look of your calculator. You simply purchase a different faceplate and swap it with the current faceplate. The calculator's initial faceplate is a light gray/silver. The kickstand is built into the calculator lid, and it allows you to set the calculator to four different viewing angles. Concerning memory and speed, the TI-84+SE has the same amount of memory and speed as the TI-83+SE.

Calculator Comparison

Model Processor RAM ROM Screen Size Link Port Clock Release Date
TI-83 6 MHz 27 KB None 96x64 I/O No 1996
TI-83+ 6 MHz 24 KB 160 KB 96x64 I/O No 1999
TI-83+SE 15 MHz 24KB (128 KB) 1.5 MB 96x64 I/O No 2001
TI-84+ 15 MHz 24 KB 480 KB 96x64 I/O+USB Yes 2004
TI-84+SE 15 MHz 24KB (128 KB) 1.5 MB 96x64 I/O+USB Yes 2004

Known ROM Versions

TI occasionally releases updates to the ROM version for each calculator, which either fix existing bugs, improve calculator performance, or add new commands and functionality. You can check the ROM version on your calculator by selecting the About option in the Memory menu, which is accessible by pressing 2nd MEM. See portability for a list of changes in functionality between the OS versions.

Model Known ROM Versions
TI-83 1.02, 1.03, 1.04, 1.06, 1.07, 1.08, 1.10
TI-83+ 1.03, 1.06, 1.08, 1.10, 1.12, 1.13, 1.14, 1.15, 1.16, 1.17, 1.18, 1.19
TI-83+SE 1.13, 1.14, 1.15, 1.16, 1.17, 1.18, 1.19
TI-84+ 2.21, 2.22, 2.30, 2.40, 2.41, 2.43
TI-84+SE 2.21, 2.22, 2.30, 2.40, 2.41, 2.43

Pre-Loaded Applications

Except for the TI-83 which has no Flash ROM, all of the other TI-83 series of calculators come with some pre-loaded applications for users to use. Since most of the applications are rather limited in use and scope, not to mention that they each take up 16K bytes or more of memory, most people end up deleting them off of their calculator to allow them to fit more programs and games. If you want to put them back on your calculator again, you can find them all on TI's website.

Model Pre-Loaded Applications
TI-83+ Language Localization, Probability Simulation, Science Tools, StudyCards, Vernier EasyData
TI-83+SE CellSheet, GeoMaster, Language Localization, Organizer, Periodic Table, StudyCards
TI-84+ Cabri Jr., Conic Graphing, Inequality Graphing, Language Localization, LearningCheck, LogIn, Probability Simulation, Science Tools, StudyCards, TI CBL/CBR, TImeSpan, Topics in Algebra 1, Transformation Graphing, Vernier EasyData
TI-84+SE app4math, Area Formulas, Cabri Jr., Catalog Help, CellSheet, Conic Graphing, Fundamental Topics in Science, GeoMaster, Inequality Graphing, Language Localization, LearningCheck, LogIn, NoteFolio, Organizer, Periodic Table, Polynomial Root Finder and Simultaneous Equation Solver, Probability Simulation, Puzzle Pack, Science Tools, Start-Up Customization, StudyCards, TI CBL/CBR, TImeSpan, Topics in Algebra 1, Transformation Graphing, Vernier EasyData


page tags: _preparation1
page_revision: 55, last_edited: 1238804012|%e %b %Y, %H:%M %Z (%O ago)
Unless stated otherwise Content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License