Yes, kill the process, to make it a bit more complicated be sure to check to box lower left that says show process from all users (will be the system) you will see a lot more.
May take time but it will be worth it. Just a shot in the dark, but start with the process with the high ram usage.
Of course, turn off everything that you can before you start, windows, Word, Games, etc.
A variation would be the clean boot. Now that I think of it you may want to go this way first, as a test. http://support.microsoft.com/kb/929135