Task Manager on Windows, or Activity Monitor on OS X, are extremely powerful applications that provide visibility into the heart of your operating system.
Microsoft provides the following definition of the Task Manager app:
Task Manager shows you the programs, processes, and services that are currently running on your computer. You can use Task Manager to monitor your computer’s performance or to close a program that is not responding.
It turns out the Chrome browser, closely related to the Chrome operating system, has a task manager of its own. It can be found under Settings > Tools
Chrome's Task Manager can be super handy in several key ways.
It's like Angry Birds, Kill the Pigs
The Chrome Task Manager allows you to find problematic tabs and extensions, quickly revealing the memory and CPU pigs. This provides excellent transparency across Extensions allowing you to prioritize who gets to chow down on your precious memory and who gets the boot. It might be OK if Pandora or Gmail Offline are leveraging some memory but not so much for that Extension you never use.
I can quickly review all the Tabs and Extensions running and end anything I don't like the look of. Don't worry about making a mistake, you can always restart Chrome if you kill something you shouldn't.
You certainly shouldn't need Chrome's Task Manager on a daily basis and I wouldn't obsess too much about what Tabs and Extensions are doing what but it's an excellent tool to keep in mind if you run into issues or are curious about what Chrome is up to.