Now what about the real issue, MEMORY USAGE!!!
Chrome, the current Firefox and a few others are designed with the assumption that memory usage is not a real issue while speed is - hence all that stuff in tabs being kept in memory. Yes it sucks if you want to use anything other than their application at the same time or have an older machine with less memory than the maxed out dev machines, but those developers do not care about such a situation. The answer is an older version or a project that has a goal of a low memory footprint.
Having 16GB of DDR4 memory is great except I rarely exceed 4GB of usage even with multiple web browsers and tabs. Most of the time I use Chrome and my overall memory utilization (includes system applications as well) is around 1.5GB to 3GB. Just for your edification, I opened 20 tabs in Chrome and my memory utilization jumped from 2GB to 3GB. Maybe you are running Chrome on the wrong operating system.
BTW. I run Fedora 24 and on login I automatically run Konsole (six shells) , Dolphin, Ktorrent, System monitor and VLC. I actually am running a video at the moment as well as the twenty tabs in Chrome and I have barely gone over 3GB in memory. Of course having a Skylake Core i7 6700 (not into overclocking hence I never bothered with the "K" model) does help.