I've been having the same problem on both of my android devices (N7 and HTC One M7).
Basically its like this:
In Chrome I would open 3 or more tabs at the same time. Then I would start reading the first tab. When I'm done I would close the tab and continue on to read the second tab. Yet when I try to open the second (or third tab) Chrome would reload the web pages again causing massive delay as I am only on a 1 mbps DSL line shared by 3 people. If I go back and forth between 2 or 3 tabs, my HTC One would keep reloading the pages though I'm not sure whether it is reading from the NAND or asking for a fresh page from the ISP.
I'm thinking this is Android default behaviour to conserve memory.
In any case, is there a way to make Chrome more aggresive in using the RAM as cache (stop putting the web page in NAND swap) and less OCD at having to have the very latest web page (stop re-downloading every 2 minutes if I change tabs) ?
I just want to be able to switch tabs freely as I do in desktop.