Overclocking And Watercooling The TI-84, Just Cause

The TI-84 is an enduring classic – the calculator that took many through high school, college and beyond. A hacker’s favorite, it’s been pushed to the limits in all sorts of ways. The crew at [Linus Tech Tips] decided to join in the fun, overclocking a TI-84 Plus and adding water cooling to boot. 

The TI-84 uses a simple resistor capacitor circuit to generate its clock, making it overclocking it a cinch. By changing the resistor value in the circuit, the clock can be made to run faster. The team have some issues with pads delaminating from the PCB, but manage to sub in a trimpot which lets the clock be changed on the fly. A boost of 10MHz over stock gets the calculator operating at 26MHz, with notably quicker performance in the TI port of Doom 2. Without accurate measurement of CPU temps, it’s hard to say whether watercooling the calculator is justified. However, the team do a great job of entirely overengineering the solution, with a custom-made cooling block hooked up to a massive spherical reservoir.

With the stability issues inherent in overclocking, and the unwieldy watercooling tubes, it’s not a good hack in the practicality sense. It is, however, quite amusing, and that’s always worth something. TI calculators have long been targets for hackers, and you can even get them online if you so desire. Video after the break.

23 thoughts on “Overclocking And Watercooling The TI-84, Just Cause

  1. Teacher: “Class, it is time for the math exam. Please clear your desks, except for a pencil and your calculator.”
    (Johnny raises his hand)
    Teacher: “Yes, Johnny?”
    Johnny: “May I be excused?”
    Teacher: “What for, Johnny?”
    Johnny: “I need to run these hoses to the water cooler for my calculator.”

  2. Could probably just drop an old chipset heatsink on it and call it good.

    Me, I think I’d cobble one of those multiturn pots into it, so you can turn it up and down.

    1. I thought about designing a custom 3d printer backplate to fit the 40x40x10 mm fan from noctua over the cpu to have a central exhaust and cutting intake holes in the bottom, and put small heatsinks over all parts which would needed to be cooled just for the flex lmao (I don’t wana play Doom on it, I just want to see these graphs being drawn before everyone else’s)

          1. An RC oscillator?? In something so expensive?

            I know it’s not strictly necessary to have tight timing, but…. those are pricy!

            One of my favorite things about SAMD is the use of a 32khz crystal and various PLLs to boost it, rather than a crystal near operating frequency.

      1. I doubt that. He’s telling so much BS that can’t be on purpose. And he never clears it up, leaving ppl searching for information with the BS and only the BS.

        I really can’t stand him…

  3. We used to overclock HP-41’s this way. It was no problem getting it running up 75% faster by swapping out capacitors. Since they where built with CMOS circuitry you could crank up the voltage to get it running even faster (Note: Be aware of that this can fry the calculator)

    I still have my HP-41cx that I overclocked the day after I bought it in ’85.

    Hmm.. I think I’ll dig out some of my old PPC Journals and try my hand at synthetic programming on the HP-41 again.

    1. It’s to remind you you’re doing gods work by killing imps and cacodemons. Contrary to the fundies who tried to get Doom banned, because what, trying to send everything back to hell was encouraging it?

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