memory evolution in graphing calculators



#2

I have just read this arstechnica article about why the Ti 83 has got the colorful screen.

What has hit me is the reference to the available memory. Is really little (1). Given the fact that for a lot of task all calculators from 1990 are already enough in terms of speed and above all the battery life is really important (else, we will just use a smartphone), even if we know that memory needs power in standby, i hope that modern memories need very little power.

So i began to find sources about evolution of memories in graphing calculators.

Previous generation

Ti-89
256K RAM (188K available to user), 4M Flash ROM (about 2.7M available to user)

188K is very limited imo, as well as storage with 2.7Mb (one or two good libraries and the flash space is gone, or some quick reference for math things converted as text). But anyway, take it as reference point.

Hp 50g
2 MiB flash memory (~768 KiB user accessible), 512 KiB RAM (~380 KiB user accessible) + 32M up to 2048M SD
Much more ram than ti89, it is worse for storage but fortunately there is the SD that is nearly unlimited with appropriate libraries (for example, to save data about results).

fx9860
64K ram, 1.5M storage, + SD 32-2048M

Classpad 300/330
512Kbytes RAM for user programs + 4.5mbyte FLASH for additional applications

And, for comparisons, Casio seems on the right track (even if the community is not so large and, eventually, the larger is the community, the better) at least for ram and storage, where HP won easily on extra storage thanks to SD card. Unfortunately the 9860 has very little ram even if it has the SD slot.

Current generation

Classpad 400
512Kbytes RAM for user programs + 4.5mbyte FLASH for additional applications

Primz
61K ram , 16 mega flash

The classpad 400 is almost the same of previous generation but the Primz baffles me. Ok we can run a lot of programs with 16 MB, or write a lot of results, or store several documents. But 61K of ram? Even lower than the classpad? Colorful displays don't do all alone!

Now i get why casio thinks that primz is the contender of Ti-83/84 and not a calculator on the same level of classpad 330.

Ti-nspire
16M Ram, 20M flash
(both all for the user?)

Ti-nspire touch
15 MB storage memory / 32 MB operating memory

nspire CX cas
100 MB storage memory / 64MB operating memory

This is great, with 16M of ram are a huge jump forward! 188 times the Ti89, with same batteries! (and batteries aren't evolved too much)

Of course several MB of flash memory are expected and 20M are good.

Nspire CX is wonderful (even if, for storage, an SD is still the best), but with his own battery (like a smartphone), so this is quite unfair. While nspire touch is a further evolution, about ram, of standard nspire.

So nspire family (except the CX), at least from the ram/storage point of view, have improved enough for me. (2)

Hp 39gii
256K ram and 80M storage.

Hp prime
32M ram, 256M Storage

The storage of 39gii is almost unlimited, while the ram is not :( . Like the casio primz, maybe the 39gII target are the ti-83/84 .

The storage of prime is like a small SD, really great. While the ram is paired with nspire products (64 or 32 are really a lot). The only thing that is unfair is: prime has its own battery, and not 4 AAA.

So, with normal AAA batteries (3), the best, in my opinion, are (in terms of ram/storage possibilities): nspire (not Cx), 50g with SD and the 39gii.

(1) Or at least, if i want do a graph on the Hp 50g of resolution 800x500 to export it, it takes almost 50kb . And it is one of possible usage of memory in a calculator. It's easy to fill it with temporary computations of a program or with data results.

(2) And, anyway, they are really fast so are ok even as computational power. The only drawback is: lacks of community developed libraries and programs in comparison to the ti89.

(3) That means: i won't need a battery replacement from Hp/TI/Casio.

Edited: 11 Sept 2013, 7:57 p.m.


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