I have been facing this problem for quite sometime now and even had to face memory corruption due to frequent hard boot of Fedora. Here is how it goes every day:
1. Launched a new tab by clicking a youtube url from an existing tab,
2. The new tab opened and the video started to buffer but stopped in between. The browser then became unresponsive.
3. Waited for 10 minutes and a pop up informed me to kill two previous tabs as they had become unresponsive.
4. The popup animation was very sluggish and so was mouse movement. Somehow dragged the mouse to Kill Pages options and clicked.
5. Nothing happened and I waited for another 10-15 minutes and then rebooted the machine.
Relevant Info about my usage: I normally have about 25-30 tabs open in my chrome at all times but not in firefox. But I prefer to watch videos in firefox so it has mostly youtube videos saved in its session manager. I have also set the option to save the session and pick it off each time chrome/firefox is started. So the chrome sessions have information about 25-30 tabs. Also I have a decent internet connection of 4 mbps so that rules out network issues.
I am guessing it is a memory issue but can't the browser handle 25-30 tabs or am I stretching it?
Please feel free to ask for any error/log files you might need as I have no clue which one are relevant.
Fedora 16 kernel:
[root@localhost username]# uname -a
Linux localhost.localdomain 3.4.4-4.fc16.i686 #1 SMP Thu Jul 5 20:58:10 UTC 2012 i686 i686 i386 GNU/Linux
Chrome: Version 20.0.1132.47