Differences among TI83s and TI84s
Copyright © 2006–2017 by Stan Brown
Copyright © 2006–2017 by Stan Brown
Summary: Texas Instruments’ popular line of TI83 and TI84 calculators includes seven models, of which five are listed on TI’s Web site (though one is no longer available). What do you get by choosing one model over another?
TI83 Plus  TI84 Plus  TI84 Silver C  TI84 Plus CE  

Year introduced  1999  2004  2013  2015 
Screen  Black&white, ambient light  16bit color, backlit  
Screen resolution  96×64 (95×63 usable) 
320×240 (265×165 usable) 

Text() command 
0 ≤ r ≤ 57, 0 ≤ c ≤ 94  0 ≤ r ≤ 164, 0 ≤ c ≤ 264  
Output() command 
1 ≤ r ≤ 8, 1 ≤ c ≤ 16  1 ≤ r ≤ 10, 1 ≤ c ≤ 26  
CPU  Z80, 6 MHz  Z80, 15 MHz  Z80, 15 MHz  eZ80, 48 MHz 
Batteries  4×AAA + 1 “button” backup  Rechargeable Li ion  
Connectors  I/O  I/O, USB  I/O, USB  USB 
Connect to computer with ★ 
TIGraph Link  TI Connect CE or TI Connect or TIGraph Link 
TI Connect CE or TI Connect 
TI Connect CE 
★ All can be downloaded from this page at TI’s site. 
The TI84 Plus C Silver Edition (TI84+CSE for short) was released in 2013. It adds color and higher screen resolution to the TI84 Plus. Part of that screen resolution goes for a twoline bar at the top: the first row shows selected mode settings and battery charge; the second row sometimes shows contextsensitive help. All the math and statistical functions and graphs carry forward from the black&white TI84 Plus, and there are some enhancements.
The TI84 Plus CE (TI84+CE for short), new in 2015, is about half the thickness of all the earlier TI83s and TI84s, a bit more rectangular, and 30% lighter (201 g versus 287 g). It has almost exactly the same menus as the TI84+CSE, but a new processor and memorymapped LCD make it much faster — up to 300% faster, according to the review at Cemetech.net. It’s got more than six times the RAM of the TI84+CSE, which means greater capacity for programs and data.
I can’t see any reason to buy a new TI84 Plus C Silver Edition. Despite lacking the “Silver” moniker, the TI84 Plus CE is faster and cheaper than the TI84+CSE, and it has much more capacity too.
TI’s site has Getting Started books for both calculators, but the full Guidebook (reference manual) only for the TI84+CSE. This isn’t a huge problem, as the differences are minor, but still it’s surprising since the TI84+CE has been out for about a year.
Y=
] menu sets colors for function graphs.2nd
Y=
makes stat plot
] screen lets you set colors for
statistical graphs.DRAW
] menu commands let you set color for the grid, the
axes, and the border. You can also turn the picture background on or
off.2nd
zoom
makes format
] screen lets you specify grid color.TI84+CSE  TI84+CE  Feature 

✔  Keys and labels are in lower case, a nice change that improves readability in my opinion.  
✔  ✔ 
Catalog Help is available on all menus: press [+ ] for help on
the selected menu item. 
✔  ✔ 
[MODE ] screen: For function plots, CONNECTED has
become THICK , DOT has become
DOTTHICK , and THIN and
DOTTHIN are new. (It’s possible to set those other
modes for individual equations in black&white TI84s, on the [Y= ]
screen.) 
✔ 
[MODE ] screen: select fractional answers. (The CSE has only
automatic and decimal, but you can always press [math ] [1 ] [enter ] to
convert an answer to a fraction.)  
✔ 
[MODE ] screen: go to graph format screen. This is a
useless feature in my opinion, since [2nd zoom makes format ] works on
every TI83/84 model.  
✔  ✔ 
[2nd ZOOM makes FORMAT ] screen: grid lines. The black&white models have only
GridOn and GridOff ; the color models give
you a threeway choice of GridOff , GridDot
(equivalent to the old GridOn ), and
GridLine . There’s also a new GridColor
choice, with 15 options. 
✔  ✔ 
[2nd ZOOM makes FORMAT ] screen: Detect Asymptotes does a
much better job with some graphs. Compare these two graphs of
(x−11)/[(x−7)(x+2)]. Detect Asymptotes
definitely slows down the graphing, but it’s worth it to have
accurate graphs.

✔  ✔ 
The [MATH ] menu has a new submenu, FRAC , that
duplicates the last four items of the [MATH ] NUM
submenu. 
✔  ✔ 
[STAT ] CALC menu:
QuickPlot&FitEQ is new: drop points on a graph
screen and do a regression on the fly. 
✔  ✔ 
The [WINDOW ] screen lets you set TraceStep
explicitly. 
✔  ✔ 
The [VARS ] menu has a new submenu, COLOR .

The black&white TI84 Plus and TI84 Plus Silver Edition were released in 2004; there was no “original TI84”.
TI upgraded the firmware on shipped models in 2010 and again in 2011, without changing the model names. If yours was manufactured before 2012, you can check the firmware version and download new firmware if necessary.
The black&white TI84 Plus is still being sold, but TI says the black&white TI84 Plus Silver Edition is “no longer available in retail stores”.
What does a TI84 Plus get you, over a TI83 Plus?
Both the TI84 Plus and the TI84 Silver now come with these features:
MODE
], as far as I know.You can control these features (except as indicated) by
pressing [MODE
] [▲
].
The keyboards are identical in labeling, but the 84’s design is curved, and all keys except the numeric keypad are smaller.
New in 2.55MP: On the home screen, you can just press
[▲
] repeatedly to recall past calculations. When
you find the one you want, press [ENTER
] it’s pasted to
the screen where you can edit it if you wish before pressing
[ENTER
] again to execute it. ([2nd
ENTER
makes ENTRY
] still
works.
The 84 has a clock, which you can view or set by pressing
[MODE
].
New in 2.55MP: Four new “shortcut menus” claim to offer
faster access to existing functions; press [ALPHA
F1
makes FRAC
],
[ALPHA
F2
makes FUNC
], [ALPHA
F3
makes MTRX
], [ALPHA
F4
makes YVAR
].
Of these, [ALPHA
F3
makes MTRX
] really does seem to make it easier to enter
matrices.
There are a few goodies for statistics students:
STAT
] CALC
menu,
the [2nd
VARS
makes DISTR
] menu, and possibly others I haven’t
noticed. You can turn the wizards on or off by pressing
[MODE
] [▲
] [▲
].The [STAT
] CALC
menu has a new
item, D:ManualFit
.
The [STAT
] TESTS
menu has two new
entries, D:χ²GOFTest
and G:LinRegTInt
.
The 83 screen is shown at left and the 84 screen at right:
However, χ²GOFTest
makes you compute the
expected values on your own, so it’s not as useful as it could
be. (See MATH200A Program part 6 for a downloadable
program that does the whole job.)
The [2nd
VARS
makes DISTR
] menu has a new
entry, 4:InvT
, for finding inverse Student’s t.
The 83’s selections 4–E become 5–F on the 84.
The following catalog functions are in the 84 but not the 83:
χ²GOFTest
checkTmr
ClockOff
and ClockOn
dayOfWk
ExecLib
getDate
, getDtFmt
, getDtStr
, getTime
, getTmFmt
, getTmStr
invT
isClockOn
LinRegTInt
ManualFit
OpenLib
setDate
, setDtFmt
, setTime
, setTmFmt
startTmr
timeCnv
The included Catalog Help application doesn’t describe these.
Consult Appendix A of the
Guidebook
for the use of these catalog entries — except for
ExecLib
and OpenLib
, which seem to be
undocumented.
Functionally these are almost identical. I know of only these differences between the plain TI84 Plus and the Silver Edition:
The black&white TI84 models go back to 2004, but some firmware upgrades added features:
If you have a black&white TI84, press
[2nd
+
makes MEM
] [1
] to check the firmware version. If
it’s older than 2.55MP, you can download new firmware to get
MathPrint and other features.
TI’s search engine doesn’t find the download,
but googling for “2.55MP download TI84” (without
quotes) found the
OS download
and these
download instructions.
The original TI83 was released in 1996, the TI83 Plus in 1999, and the TI83 Plus Silver Edition in 2001, according to Wikipedia.
Keyboard differences are few.
The TI83 Plus replaced the original
TI83’s dedicated
[MATRX
] key with an [APPS
] key, moving matrix
functions to
[2nd
x^{1}
makes MATRX
]. The finance functions from
[2nd
x^{1}
makes FINANCE
] on the original TI83 were moved to a
FINANCE app. All the later TI83/84 models have the same
keyboard as the TI83 Plus, though the shapes of the keys have changed.
Programming differs a bit between the original TI83 on the one hand, and all other TI83/84s on the other. The TI83 uses 83P program files; the others can run 83P files but natively use 8XP files, which the original TI83 cannot run. 8XP files added new features, such as letting programs display lowercase letters.
The original TI83 and TI83 Silver are no longer listed on TI’s Web site, but the TI83 Plus is. I don’t see any reason to buy a new TI83 Plus, because the TI84 Plus is about the same price and has more speed, more memory, and more features. However, a used TI83 Plus can be a good buy; just spend a little time to make sure that the character and graph displays are working correctly.
Confusingly, there is a TI83 Premium CE calculator, released in 2015. This is actually very similar to the TI84 Plus CE.
Updates and new info: http://BrownMath.com/ti83/