What Is the Real Difference Between TI 83 & TI 84 Graphing Calculators?

By Jared Beck

Texas Instruments (TI) is an electronics company geared toward the production of hardware technology for the education sector. The TI-83 and TI-84 graphing calculators are two of their most popular models.

Memory and RAM

The TI-83, the base model, has 160 kilobytes (KB) of memory and 24 KB of RAM. The TI-84, sometimes referred to as the "TI-84 Plus," boasts 480 KB of memory but the same amount of RAM as the TI-83. However, the TI-84 has twice the processing speed.

Hardware Capability

The TI-84 features a built-in USB port and comes with a USB cable at purchase. The TI-84 can also link to other TI presentation tools via an adapter sold separately. The TI-83 does not have a USB port and can only connect with other TI-83s or TI-84s.

Preloaded Applications

StudyCards and Vernier EasyData are standard on the TI-83, while the TI-84 comes with both of those programs and Cabri Jr.

Operating System

The key difference between the TI-83 and the TI-84 is the operating system: the TI-83 comes with factory-standard software and the ability to upgrade. The TI-84 sports the latest upgrade of MathPrint, which allows for fractions to be viewed stacked instead of side-by-side and for easy search through past calculations for speedy recall of input/output. You can also choose to view calculations as decimals or fractions, and it allows different display modes. This operating system provides an easier user experience.

Standardized Tests

Both the TI-83 and TI-84 are approved for the SAT, PSAT, ACT, International Baccalaureate, AP and Praxis exams.