Does anyone know of a utility that can send the user an alert when too much system memory has been consumed? So that they know to close out a few programs, and close a few browser tabs? I found one on Google but it only monitors individual programs and not memory as a whole.
You have to:
I wrote a blog post some time ago with more detailed instructions if you need them.
Windows has a built-in warning when eviction pressure gets too high (i.e., it's extremely tight on memory). It's a little notification in the system tray that warns you're low on memory and demanding more, and suggests closing some applications.
There's a subtle difference between being low on memory (which is not necessarily bad) and high eviction pressure (applications causing a large number of page faults, which is bad).
Personally, if this is a regular enough issue that the time it takes to close programs or tabs is an issue, I'd put some more memory in the machine. Memory is usually pretty cheap these days, and is quite often the best dollar-per-perceived-speed improvement you can do to most computers.