I had a realization just a little bit ago. You see, of late – I have encountered a lot of hangs in my browser sessions. Granted, this is usually when I am doing my morning thing of catching up on the world and few hundred little tasks that I and such that I like to check on and such, no small number of which by default use Flash to power the website. I had noticed that the hang-ups always occurred on flash enabled pages and seemed to occur much more often on my laptop, compared to my desktop, which with additional memory I figured was where the problem is (even with my realization, I still believe this is where the problem resides).
This morning, along with my regular routine which includes the automatic opening of around fifteen website when I launch browser, I opened up a remote connection one of my other computers. While on that remote screen, I opened a browser and for whatever reason, I closed all the tabs that I had set to open by default (probably because they were already open in the other computer session). I than went on my way with my daily run down of various sites, with a little extra step here and there, simply because I did not have sites open already.
An amazing thing (not really, considering the number of times I tell users at the office to close down a few apps or especially close down a few images they have open for editing) occurred. I managed to go through my morning routine with a single hang. And while I regularly have mornings without a full-blown hang, I almost always have some point where there is a long slow down and what is clearly a lot of things being swapped in and out of the paging file (again, especially on the laptop). This morning, I only had one very minor slow down that was hardly noticeable and lasted for only a few seconds.
Bottom line, if you find slow downs or just down right hang ups when you are browsing out there on the web, take a look at not only how many apps you have open on your device – but how many windows and tabs you have open in your browser. Unless you are switching back and forth to the apps, they page once when you go into the browser and that is that, but there is clearly the potential to hit memory limits inside of the browser itself that will force page, especially with Flash based pages.
Oh, and for the record, I have observed similar behavior in both Windows XP (especially) and Windows 7.x, as well as several different flavors of Linux, mostly Debian or Ubuntu based. It seems to occur with either Firefox or Chrome/Chromium – using the latest or close to the latest versions. And it does not seem to matter if you are using a purebred Adobe Flash or some third-party Flash system available on various Linux’s.