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A new Casio PRIZM calculator: The fx-CG50

Started by DJ Omnimaga, January 14, 2017, 03:04:54 pm

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They probably increased the CPU clock to be the same as on the fx-CP 400. Since the OS apparently didn't change much, I suppose the speed feels like a fx-CG 20 when overclocked. The Main Menu probably has a much smaller delay when opening...

The message versions are already at 03.00 which confirms that will probably be the OS version at launch.

DJ Omnimaga

For the drawing commands (I sadly won't have a piece of code in time for you to test) I think that while the CPU might play a big factor, the screen drivers combined by how the Basic interpreter renders the drawing commands might also play a big factor. So if the screen is easier to access, I think the speed increase might be more significant.


On the fx-CG 20, the screen could be updated much, much faster than BASIC could. The bottleneck is on the BASIC interpreter and/or the graph system it uses for all drawing commands, not the screen.

DJ Omnimaga

That's a shame then. That said, I remember that many PRIZM games didn't seem to run at higher than 20 FPS even when rudimentary.

In any case I made my mind and probably won't buy the calc unless I can get it at heavy discount *cough*or if I suddenly make a massive amount of music sales*cough*. Besides, my PRIZM Basic programs (if I ever make any) will probably run on the 50 anyway


Yeah, I won't buy it either: I barely use my fx-CG 20 now (in fact, its batteries are empty right now and I keep forgetting to charge them), and it doesn't look like I'll have much use for a graphic calculator in the next few years. I have way more pressing stuff to spend my money with...
But if I was going into high school now and the fx-CG 50 was available and custom native code was not crippled, I'd go for it without any doubt. Because if it was locked down, then I'd go for anything else, perhaps even an older generation fx-CG 20 or something from TI.

DJ Omnimaga

Yeah I personally lost interest a bit in programming except maybe a bit on the CE lately, and if you visited Omnimaga from 2010 to 2013 you probably noticed that my breaks from programming can last extreme amounts of time. If I still had as much money allocated to hobbies as I did back then, though, I would get the calc in a heartbeat for collector purposes.

Also, the color 84+ models are pretty much the only viable calculators for pure color graphical BASIC programming. While the CSE and CE BASIC interpreters are slow, it's nothing compared to the Casio PRIZM and especially the ClassPad. On top of that, we got libs/enhancers.

The HP Prime is an even better BASIC alternative, but I kinda lost interest when it took HP 3 years to fix most fatal bugs.


Ok, I've now released the fx-CG50 performances test :

To sum up things :

- the fx-CG50 is around 2 times faster than the fx-CG10/20

- Basic programs are 2 times faster, but this is still abnormally slow (non-graphic fx-CG10/20 Basic programs weren't faster than fx-7400GII/9750GII/9860GII SH4 programs - so when dealing with the much bigger screen buffer, of course...) - lets hope this is going to be enough to fix graphic programs speed

- so Casio probably didn't improve the software (and especially the Basic interpreter)

- but did switch from the fx-CG10/20 SH4 32-bits 58MHz CPU to the 116MHz one from the fx-CP400

DJ Omnimaga

Yeah, as I suspected, this is basically a fx-CG20 with a faster CPU. As for the speed, I bet it will be on-par with the TI-84 Plus for homescreen commands, while drawing commands will now be on-par with the Classpad II.


fx-CG50 add-ins, and even the new 3D one, are apparently perfectly compatible with older fx-CG20 models ! :)

It doesn't prove that older fx-CG20 add-ins are going to work on the newer fx-CG50, but in my opinion Casio didn't change much with add-ins support.
I think that fx-CG20 add-ins are going to work, and this is a huge opportunity for us.
Remember all the huge things which have been achieved for the fx-CG20 : Doom port, OpenJazz JackRabbit port, eigenMath port, JPEG/PNG image reader, C SDK...
We'll be able to reuse them with the fx-CG50 and to create even huger things ! :D

Test source : https://tiplanet.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=19749&p=214470#p214470



The only thing that looks really out of place is the icons, and that's only because of the white background. The key labels are not in the same place, as we had already discussed at Cemetech, but that's not too bad.
Let's hope for a 03.00 OS for the fx-CG 10/20 with a white main menu (or some sort of clever runtime icon patching to get rid of the white background).

How thoroughly have you tested the add-ins? I'm still kind of surprised they don't depend on any new syscalls, and that the syscall table has not gone through major changes.

Also, given that, as far as I could understand, the add-ins were transferred from a prototype fx-CG 50, it's quite possible that once the add-ins are released (on the internet and on consumer units), they will have added some checks to prevent running them on earlier models. Not that such checks would be hard to patch out...


March 18, 2017, 07:30:34 pm #25 Last Edit: March 18, 2017, 07:35:21 pm by critor
Quote from: gbl08ma on March 18, 2017, 07:00:13 pmHow thoroughly have you tested the add-ins?

I could graph in 3D and rotate the 3D frame without any error or crash. :)

Except that rotating the 3D frame was much slower on the fx-CG20 than on the fx-CG50.
Not twice slower, but really many times slower.

On the Stuttgart fx-CG50 prototype I got this :

On my fx-CG20 with a plane too (but not exactly the same), after each 3D frame refresh the calculator was freezing for a second with the busy pointer in the top right-hand corner of the screen.

Also note that the tested 3D app was borrowed on a different prototype (Graph 90+E in Paris) with an older OS version (2.92 instead of 2.94). So the 3D app may be a different and older version too...


Actually the speedup can be explained by the different CPU clocks alone, even though it's possible they did further optimizations to the 3D app. This is because not only the CPU clock is higher, but the peripheral bus is probably also clocked higher, making it possible to achieve higher frame rates. There's also the possibility that finally Bdisp_PutDisp_DD is not blocking (although that would break compatibility with older add-ins, that could modify the VRAM while the DMA transfer is in progress...), but I find this very unlikely. It's also possible that different planes produce wildly different rendering times (it would be strange, but seeing the bugs related to calculation time on the latest Classpad...).

DJ Omnimaga

Wow, if old add-ins still work that's good news. It reminds me of the TI-83+=> 84+ transition in 2004 where almost everything worked on both models. I am curious about what will be the differences that could cause compatibility problems.

About the slowdown, could they have finally fixed screen access speed issues? I hope to see some Basic drawing improvements


New fx-CG50 add-ins are now available, and can still be installed and tested on fx-CG10/20. :)

For fx-CG10/20 testers, note that :
- the new add-ins use new icons designed for a main menu with a white theme, and won't look very nice with your black theme
- Convert 1.01 is not going to work properly
- 3D Graph 1.00 is going to be slow...

DJ Omnimaga

Nice to see such compatibility. I should check if I wrote a news about the compatibility because I doubt I did (I was busy x.x). It's definitively good news for the Casio community and a big contrast with the SH3->SH4 switch a few years ago where many add-ins broke.

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