Differences among TI-83s and TI-84s
Copyright © 2006–2017 by Stan Brown
Copyright © 2006–2017 by Stan Brown
Summary: Texas Instruments’ popular line of TI-83 and TI-84 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?
|TI-83 Plus||TI-84 Plus||TI-84 Silver C||TI-84 Plus CE|
|Screen||Black&white, ambient light||16-bit color, backlit|
||0 ≤ r ≤ 57, 0 ≤ c ≤ 94||0 ≤ r ≤ 164, 0 ≤ c ≤ 264|
||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|
computer with ★
|TI-Graph Link||TI Connect CE
or TI Connect
or TI-Graph Link
|TI Connect CE
or TI Connect
|TI Connect CE|
|★ All can be downloaded from this page at TI’s site.|
The TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition (TI84+CSE for short) was released in 2013. It adds color and higher screen resolution to the TI-84 Plus. Part of that screen resolution goes for a two-line bar at the top: the first row shows selected mode settings and battery charge; the second row sometimes shows context-sensitive help. All the math and statistical functions and graphs carry forward from the black&white TI-84 Plus, and there are some enhancements.
The TI-84 Plus CE (TI84+CE for short), new in 2015, is about half the thickness of all the earlier TI-83s and TI-84s, 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 memory-mapped 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 TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition. Despite lacking the “Silver” moniker, the TI-84 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.
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.
format] screen lets you specify grid color.
|✔||Keys and labels are in lower case, a nice change that improves readability in my opinion.|
Catalog Help is available on all menus: press [|
The black&white TI-84 Plus and TI-84 Plus Silver Edition were released in 2004; there was no “original TI-84”.
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 TI-84 Plus is still being sold, but TI says the black&white TI-84 Plus Silver Edition is “no longer available in retail stores”.
What does a TI-84 Plus get you, over a TI-83 Plus?
Both the TI-84 Plus and the TI-84 Silver now come with these features:
MODE], as far as I know.
You can control these features (except as indicated) by
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. ([
The 84 has a clock, which you can view or set by pressing
New in 2.55MP: Four new “shortcut menus” claim to offer
faster access to existing functions; press [
Of these, [
MTRX] really does seem to make it easier to enter
There are a few goodies for statistics students:
CALCmenu, the [
DISTR] menu, and possibly others I haven’t noticed. You can turn the wizards on or off by pressing [
CALC menu has a new
TESTS menu has two new
The 83 screen is shown at left and the 84 screen at right:
χ²GOF-Test 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.)
DISTR] menu has a new
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:
The included Catalog Help application doesn’t describe these.
Consult Appendix A of the
for the use of these catalog entries — except for
OpenLib, which seem to be
Functionally these are almost identical. I know of only these differences between the plain TI-84 Plus and the Silver Edition:
The black&white TI-84 models go back to 2004, but some firmware upgrades added features:
If you have a black&white TI-84, press
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 TI-84” (without
quotes) found the
The original TI-83 was released in 1996, the TI-83 Plus in 1999, and the TI-83 Plus Silver Edition in 2001, according to Wikipedia.
Keyboard differences are few.
The TI-83 Plus replaced the original
MATRX] key with an [
APPS] key, moving matrix
MATRX]. The finance functions from
FINANCE] on the original TI-83 were moved to a
FINANCE app. All the later TI-83/84 models have the same
keyboard as the TI-83 Plus, though the shapes of the keys have changed.
Programming differs a bit between the original TI-83 on the one hand, and all other TI-83/84s on the other. The TI-83 uses 83P program files; the others can run 83P files but natively use 8XP files, which the original TI-83 cannot run. 8XP files added new features, such as letting programs display lower-case letters.
The original TI-83 and TI-83 Silver are no longer listed on TI’s Web site, but the TI-83 Plus is. I don’t see any reason to buy a new TI-83 Plus, because the TI-84 Plus is about the same price and has more speed, more memory, and more features. However, a used TI-83 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 TI-83 Premium CE calculator, released in 2015. This is actually very similar to the TI-84 Plus CE.
Updates and new info: http://BrownMath.com/ti83/