[kubuntu] Tips to preserve RAM?

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http://ubuntuforums.org – I have a computer with 16 GB of RAM, but I often run many memory-intensive programs on at once. Chromium itself often takes up nearly half, and on top of that I often have Windows 7 and another instance of Kubuntu in VirtualBox, along with other programs like KTorrent and Folding@home. I also have /tmp mounted as tmpfs. Because of this, it's not uncommon for my computer to run out of RAM, and slow down tremendously (forcing me to wait over 10 minutes sometimes for it to respond long enough for me to go to terminal and kill some programs, usually chromium-browse). I also don't have any swap (Hardware)