Max Out

What Does Max Out Mean?

In IT, the term “max out” often refers to working with hardware to upgrade the device or add capacity or features. This phrase relies on the idea that computers and other devices are made with the ability to expand or be upgraded according to the owner’s budget and desire for extra functionality.


Techopedia Explains Max Out

Maxing out a computer might consist of adding RAM memory, or adding enhanced video or graphics capability. Both of these can be added through installing specific hardware components inside a case, or putting them into slots that attach to the motherboard. Assigning the ports of a device is another part of maxing it out.

Maxing out physical computers was popular in the days of the desktop or tower computer. With these types of devices, which had a large and accessible build, it was relatively easy for the average user to go in and plug cards into slots and add memory, etc. Retailers would help users with routine questions about maxing out a computer or device.

By contrast, many of the most modern devices do not have the same versatility. Most laptop owners will never add a memory or hardware card to their device. Smartphones are another excellent example – there are really no viable ways to max out an Apple iPhone or other kinds of smartphones in the ways that were very common back in the desktop computer age.


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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.