Which Graphing Calculator to buy?

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  • Thread starter Artermis
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  • #1
Artermis
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I'm sorry if this topic appears to be in the wrong section, I was not sure what this would go under... if a moderator would be so kind as to move it to the correct sub-forum, I would be glad =)

I'm going into Grade 12 this year, and will need a graphing calculator obviously not only for next year's work but for University as well. I'm not going to be majoring in math (shiver), but of course I will be taking some higher level math courses. (calc, data, al-geo, etc...)

My question is, which graphing calculator should I buy? I live in Toronto, Canada, and had my eye on the Ti-89's, as they are the newest that I am aware of... I am under the impression the titanium version of the 89 is better? ... price is likely not an issue.

Thank you!
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
gravenewworld
1,127
25
I would recommend the TI-83 plus. It is a wonderful piece of hardware that is simple to use. The TI-89 is way too complicated to use unless you have someone teach you how to use it or have hours to waste figuring that thing out. The TI-83 is still extremely powerful if you know how to use it. It is also not as expensive. Honestly, in college you will probably not use your graphing calculator much, maybe just to add and subtract, do some simple trig, and other scientific calculations. In college if you use any computing devices in your math course it will most likely be an actual computer. You will probably use maple or some other math program. I would definitely recommend the TI-83 over the TI-89 simply because it is cheaper and easier to use. But like you said money really isn't the main issue.
 
  • #3
mattmns
1,118
6
I would say either are a good choice (the 89+ or 83+) However, keep in mind that some teachers may not allow, or at least want, you to use an 89, not that there is anything that they could do anyway. Also, I agree with gravenewworld in that an 83 is very simple and easy to use, the 89 is much more formal, and gets mad if you use the wrong syntax (for example, not closing parenthesis).
 
  • #4
mewmew
114
0
ti 89 all the way, I can't stand to use 83's after getting my 89, they are easy to use and are worth the money just because they can integrate and do derivatives. Also, it is much easier to use for large equations or fractions because when you enter it it gets printed out just like you would write it on paper.
 
  • #5
yourdadonapogostick
270
1
89 or 89 titatium practically does the problems for you(it may be able to do the whole problem itself). if you want to just pass easily, get a ti-89 titanium; if you want to learn the math, get a ti-83+.
 
  • #6
gravenewworld
1,127
25
ti-83 can do derivatives and integrate (definite integrals) also
 
  • #7
yourdadonapogostick
270
1
i've been able to do derivatives at at point, but not for the curve. how do you do integrals and derivatives?
 
  • #8
Eratosthenes
74
0
I would get the TI-89 Titanium. I have a TI-86 and a TI-89 and I prefer the 89. It's just a lot nicer. The manual that comes with it is pretty good. It solves differential equations also, which is useful because you can do the even problems in most textbooks and check yourself.

Some teachers may not let you use the 89, but I still think it's worth getting. Just get another cheap calculator that has cos(), sin() etc if that is the case. Or, you could just wait, and see what is and isn't allowed, and then make your choice.
 
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  • #9
mewmew
114
0
yourdadonapogostick said:
89 or 89 titatium practically does the problems for you(it may be able to do the whole problem itself). if you want to just pass easily, get a ti-89 titanium; if you want to learn the math, get a ti-83+.

I wouldn't go that far. I couldn't use my 89(or any other calculator) on any tests but it was nice to check homework when I didnt have Mathematica handy, I think it in some ways helped to be honest. Also as posted above I thought the 83 could only do definate integrals. Either way, the 89 has more power, isn't that much more expensive and I can't stress enough how GREAT the textbook print is.

When you have a big physics or math problem with fractions and powers it is infinitely awesome, if I didnt make myself clear this basically puts fractions on two lines as you would see them in a book, powers as superscripts and any symbols you enter come up just you would see in a book. If you have the money go for the 89 no questions asked I would say.
 
  • #10
yourdadonapogostick
270
1
if you want an 89, you might as well go for an 89 titanium. it has likw twice the memory and it has 16 preloaded programs on it.
 
  • #11
gravenewworld
1,127
25
you can take the derivative by using nderiv( under math. I forget exactly what you have to do, but I k now you can take the derivative using that. I also forget how to integrate, but I am pretty sure you can. I haven't really used those commands in the 83 since high school though, so I forget the fine details of how to exactly do it.
 
  • #12
mathmike
208
0
I have used the TI models before and none of them compare with the hp-46gx. Yes it takes a little getting used to but it is worth it. It can do indfinite intergls, diff eqs, prob, stats and more. the graphing featre is unmatched. It also has a solve application, and an equation library.
 
  • #13
SamuelGreen800
12
0
I'm in love with my TI-86. Plenty of power, and a layout that I like much better than the 83/4/+/whatever, while still being allowed in most undergrad math courses. I have the 89 as well, but I really haven't had a chance to use it much, as it is restricted in all math courses at my University. It's a very cool calculator, but you need to make sure that you can use it at your school.
 
  • #14
Having used a TI-83 in high school and a TI-89 in college after I dropped my '83 on a hard floor, I'd say you'll much rather want to use Mathematica/Maple at any given opportunity. That said, for the purpose of 'graphing calculator', the TI-89 is much better at graphing (should you want to do that), it has the ability to do parametric and polar graphs, and find integral curves for derivative fields (really cool!). Also, it's far more user-friendly, in particular something like

TI-83: '(((x-3)^2+(cos(x))^3-sqrt(x^2+x+1))/((x+3)^2+(cos(x))^3+sqrt(x^2+x+1))^(1/2)'

would show up on the screen as exactly that on an '83, whereas an '89 formats it nicely into:

[tex]\mbox{TI-89: }\sqrt{\frac{(x-3)^2+(cos(x))^3-\sqrt{x^2+x+1}}{(x+3)^2+(cos(x))^3+\sqrt{x^2+x+1}}}}[/tex]

Which version would you rather check for errors? Obviously the '89's formatting makes doing things a lot faster and with fewer errors. For those reasons, I recommend the '89 over the '83. It's not even much more expensive.

One more thing - both have a very big advantage over plain scientific calculators in test-taking, namely that long numerical expressions can be entered in one line using parantheses, which saves very much time.

edit: The HP calculators might be even better than the TI's, I don't know anything about them except that you can use Reverse Polish Notation on them. Although no one I know uses them, so you'll have more trouble communicating with other students about calculator issues.

edit #2: This might be informative:
The TI-89 is allowed for use on the AP* Calculus, AP Statistics, AP Physics, AP Chemistry, PSAT/NMSQT, SAT I, SAT II Math IC & IIC.
TI.com
edit #3: For that matter, in every course I've taken (that's a lot!), TI-89's were allowed whenever TI-83's were.
 
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  • #15
leon1127
486
0
for 89T, you need to know the basic programming knowledge, argument input technique and etc. i was using TI 83 throughout my whole high school year until the last month b4 AP tests. My third 83s broke down... so i got a 89t and used it to passed all AP math test and science test this year. 83+ is good enough until cal1 and cal2, but 89 can be used upto D.E+.
But the point is... ti 89 is hard to use, i barely figure it out (with 2 years experience of mathematica) the month b4 AP test, good luck with that.
 
  • #16
LeonhardEuler
Gold Member
860
1
gravenewworld said:
you can take the derivative by using nderiv( under math. I forget exactly what you have to do, but I k now you can take the derivative using that. I also forget how to integrate, but I am pretty sure you can. I haven't really used those commands in the 83 since high school though, so I forget the fine details of how to exactly do it.

The TI-83 only let's you take a derivative at a point, it doesn't actually find f'(x). The 89 can actually find the derivative or antiderivative of a function. I myself only have an 83. I know some people who have the 89 and they use it sometimes to do integrals really quick on tests and it really helps them, but after a couple of years now, I can do most integrals on paper and they can't. I would say, if you can afford the 89, go for it and use it on tests, but don't do homework with it or you won't know how to integrate by hand.
 
  • #17
gravenewworld
1,127
25
I remember now the 83 can take the derivative of the function and plot it. I am not sure there is a way to explicitly get what the exact derivative is. For example if you put in sin (x) in y1 slot and plot it and put nderiv(sin(x),x,x) in y2 slot, ti 83 will also plot the cos(x). There really is no point in getting a TI-89 in college, most universities will insist that you learn computer programs like maple, mathematica, etc. At any decent school you should even have even have access to the programs in your dorm room/off campuss so you can still use them to do homework.
 
  • #18
CaptainQuaser
168
0
I got myself a TI-84 Plus last year thinking I would need it for all of my math classes, but seriously in University most math classess don't allow you to use a calculator, Calc, Algebra, ect. The only math class I had that allowed calculators was Elements of Discrete Mathematics, and even then only a small single line display was allowed. That is for reasons of not allowing you to cheat like most modern calculators allow you to do. All you require to do your work is paper a pencil and your head, at least where I am. The only thing I currently use it for is physics, and mostly just simple functions.
 
  • #19
But the point is... ti 89 is hard to use, i barely figure it out (with 2 years experience of mathematica) the month b4 AP test, good luck with that.

You're not serious, are you? Learning the TI-89's interface/inputs is way, way easier than anything with Mathematica.
 
  • #20
mruncleramos
49
0
HP 49 G+ man. I've had both, but i definately prefer HP.
 
  • #21
Maxwell
513
0
I've used a TI-83 for the past 5 years. However, the calculator began to spazz out, eventually dying on me. I decided to try the TI-89T because it had much more memory (I like to add and design programs in my calculator) and it was able to do a lot more than my old 83. Also, the formatting on the 89 is MUCH better and 100 times easier than the 83. It's a great machine and even though you may not use it on exams at university (I don't), it is a fantastic tool to have while you do homework -- to check your answers, and to do fast derivatives, integrals, and diff eq's. I definitely recommend the 89.
 
  • #22
BobG
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
330
84
The TI-89 is a much better calculator, but it might be too good for the classes you take - in other words, it does so much you might not be allowed to use it until your sophomore or junior year of college (for example, it can solve equations either numerically or symbolically.

I like the TI-86. It's better than the lower numbered TIs, but a lot more likely to be acceptable to your teachers than the TI-89. It still won't have universal acceptance, since you can bypass quite a few things you have to learn (for example - why would someone learn the Quadratic Formula when their calculator can not only solve quadratics, but higher order polynomials, as well?).

If you're into retro, the Post Versalog 1460 has a very nice feel to its operations, even though the Faber Castell 2/83 Novo-duplex is actually a little better calculating device. Both can solve quadratic equations much easier than the Quadratic Formula, but neither is very good with matrices. Edit: Neither has a very graphic graphing function, but do allow you attain a very good image in your mind of how the graph would look.
 
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  • #23
Brad Barker
429
0
i'd go with the ti-89, regular.

the only difference between that and the titanium is that the titanium has more memory and maybe a faster...thingamajig. if you don't plan on using it in conjunction with your computer or writing programs on it or whatever, then it's just unnecessary to have those options.

the 89 is a good way to check your work during homework.
 
  • #24
leon1127
486
0
rachmaninoff said:
You're not serious, are you? Learning the TI-89's interface/inputs is way, way easier than anything with Mathematica.

not just interface you know... where the position of the key is, what section the function is located, and etc. i didnt want to go through the cataloque and look for the input-_- I had to figure it out how to use matrix, regression, calculus, slope field and etc... everything that 83 doesn't have in less than a month.

all i can say is "powerful tool is powerful when you know how to use it 'fast enough'". + you still need to know how to do all intergral by hand (which i do, i use the calculator only during test and exam), lol.
 
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  • #25
bomba923
760
0
Ti-89's are so easy to use :smile:
Yes, the "interface" might get confusing, but this calculator sort of "grew" on me. I know the exact placement of all the letters, functions, and almost how to use all of them, thanks to the catalog that shows me the proper syntax. Ti-89 may be too good indeed, because it can solve the problems for you-->meaning NOT just numerically~!
*Of course you have to go to Home screen, and might move around a little. But the programming is much easier, it has way more functions, and it "tells" you when you miss parentheses or the such, unlike the Ti-83 which just gives that annoying "syntax" error! rachmaninoff is right, ti-89 all the way!--err, unless you want the Ti-92, but the QWERTY makes it "test-Illegal":tongue2:
+ you still need to know how to do all intergral by hand (which i do, i use the calculator only during test and exam), lol.
Right-->but the Ti-89 can also be used to check for stupid mistakes->e,g, +/- signs, careless additions, etc. It can also solve your integral for you--->though I don't use this at all because I like to solve my integrals myself. It's good on tests b/c you can "check" your answers at times. However, I did write this one program...where you enter an expression (w/arguments and all), and it lists all the many or few steps needed to integrate the expression-->and then the answer. Basically, I can enter something like (as a simple example):
[tex] {x^4 \sin \left( {3x} \right)} [/tex]
and it will list out
[tex] \left\{ {\frac{{ - x^4 \cos \left( {3x} \right)}}{3},\frac{{4x^3 \sin \left( {3x} \right)}}{9},\frac{{4x^2 \cos \left( {3x} \right)}}{9},\frac{{ - 8x\sin \left( {3x} \right)}}{{27}},\frac{{ - 8\cos \left( {3x} \right)}}{{81}}} \right\} [/tex]
-->which you can write on a test w/o wasting time on the easy "by parts" integrals, for the free response section --->with a little bit of more rearranging and equal signs, of course! (as you write down your integral simplification process). Just add up these terms and you get the antiderivative of [tex] {x^4 \sin \left( {3x} \right)} [/tex]. Anyway, I took the AP Calc BC test and got 5 for BC and a 5 for the AB subscore. However, I didn't get to use this program, which I wrote this summer. Needless to say, I'm writing programs for more difficult integrals as well! (as well as applying to CalcIII this fall-->my "HS senior fall semester")
 
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  • #26
Raider.
3
0
It's a good idea to make sure that the Ti-89 is allowed in the classes you plan to take, some professors do not allow it. I'd rather get a Ti89 due to it's greater capabilities, just make sure you're using it as a tool to learn and check your answers, not just doing the work for you (assuming you actually want to learn and not just past the class to get the credit).
 
  • #27
bomba923
760
0
Raider. said:
It's a good idea to make sure that the Ti-89 is allowed in the classes you plan to take, some professors do not allow it. I'd rather get a Ti89 due to it's greater capabilities, just make sure you're using it as a tool to learn and check your answers, not just doing the work for you (assuming you actually want to learn and not just past the class to get the credit).

Hmm--well, some professors might keep an eye over you, or be quite suspicious-->but why completely "forbid" the Ti-89? It can give you the answer, but you must show your work and that you understand the procedure/concept mathematically and intuitively. (Unfortunately my programs show the work as well, but how would you write such programs from scratch without the conceptual-mathematical (and little programming:smile:) understanding?)

As for the intrinsic desire to learn vs. the extrinsic reward of passing credit, wouldn't that depend on the person? If the class or the class knowledge is not really needed for one's true educational goal/major, why take the time to understand the material-->as some colleges might assign one or several classes/electives irrelevant in material to a student's indented major, maybe for credit or for general education, or weird prereqs...etc. Personally, I plan to major in math and physics (Undoubtedly pure math, but not sure "which physics" to major in...meaning masters and, with much time, a PhD i hope), and to minor in philosophy and psychology and chemistry. Yes, I will narrow down this list, but definitely my first major (and PhD i hope with time)->mathematics! So yes, learn and get a Ti89! :biggrin:
(Faster problem solving, but eventually a Ti92 if you are extremely "INTO" graphing calculators)
 
  • #28
Brad Barker
429
0
it has been my experience that the teachers don't care what calculators you use...

because calculators aren't allowed on tests! I've had calc II, III, diff eq, and complex variables, and it's always the same story: use whatever you like for the homework, but tests and quizzes... just you, your pencil, and the paper.


however, in my phyiscs 2 class, we were allowed to use calculators on our test. so if your school has this sort of policy, definitely go with the best you can get (ti-89!), i think.
 
  • #29
magoood
12
0
Comment on "yourdadonapogostick"

if you want an 89, you might as well go for an 89 titanium. it has likw twice the memory and it has 16 preloaded programs on it.

But your sentence contradicts what is written on their official "comparison chart": education.ti.com/studentzone/product/courseCompareChart.html

where 10 apps only are installed as far as I see from the chart. Any comments ?

Also, as an update for this thread: How is the 89 Titanium compared to the newer NSPIRE CAS ?
 
  • #30
asourpatchkid
8
0
go for the ti-89. you won't regret it! INTEGRATION.
 
  • #31
uman
352
0
Also, if you plan on taking the AP Calculus test, the TI-89 is a huge advantage on the multiple choice calculator section.
 
  • #32
poonlam
9
0
i use TI 84+ Silver Edition.
However i think TI 89 is more helpful.Though at that time it was cheaper than TI 84. (seriously!) but my teacher preferred TI 83, or 84 and only taught us how to use those. that's why i hv to buy 84.
 
  • #33
huckmank
92
0
You're not serious, are you? Learning the TI-89's interface/inputs is way, way easier than anything with Mathematica.

And Maple is much easier than both.

I would recommend buying a student copy of Maple for $99 (less if your campus computer store has a deal; mine has it for $20). And for class buy yourself a decent scientific like the http://www.casio.com/products/Calculators_&_Dictionaries/Scientific_&_Financial/FX-115ES/" [Broken] for $15.

If you do just have to have a graphing calculator, strongly consider getting the HP 50g instead of a TI.
 
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