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Calculators Which Graphing Calculator to buy?

  1. Jul 24, 2005 #1
    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!
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 24, 2005 #2
    I would recommend the TI-83 plus. It is a wonderful peice 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.
  4. Jul 24, 2005 #3
    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).
  5. Jul 24, 2005 #4
    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.
  6. Jul 24, 2005 #5
    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+.
  7. Jul 24, 2005 #6
    ti-83 can do derivatives and integrate (definite integrals) also
  8. Jul 24, 2005 #7
    i've been able to do derivatives at at point, but not for the curve. how do you do integrals and derivatives?
  9. Jul 24, 2005 #8
    I would get the TI-89 Titanium. I have a TI-86 and a TI-89 and I prefer the 89. It's just alot 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.
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2005
  10. Jul 24, 2005 #9
    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.
  11. Jul 24, 2005 #10
    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.
  12. Jul 24, 2005 #11
    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 highschool though, so I forget the fine details of how to exactly do it.
  13. Jul 24, 2005 #12
    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.
  14. Jul 24, 2005 #13
    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.
  15. Jul 25, 2005 #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:
    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.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 25, 2005
  16. Jul 25, 2005 #15
    for 89T, you need to know the basic programming knowledge, arguement 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.
  17. Jul 25, 2005 #16


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    The TI-83 only lets 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.
  18. Jul 25, 2005 #17
    I remember now the 83 can take the derivative of the function and plot it. Im 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.
  19. Jul 25, 2005 #18
    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.
  20. Jul 25, 2005 #19
    You're not serious, are you? Learning the TI-89's interface/inputs is way, way easier than anything with Mathematica.
  21. Jul 25, 2005 #20
    HP 49 G+ man. I've had both, but i definetly prefer HP.
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