Quoting from Sams FreeBSD Unleashed:
The proper (or improper) placement of your swap partition can have a significant impact on the performance of your system. So here are some guidelines for choosing where to put your swap partition.
- Put the swap partition as close to the beginning of the disk as possible. Lower numbered cylinders on the disk can be accessed slightly faster than higher numbered cylinders.
- If you have multiple drives on your system, as a general rule, you should put the swap partition on the fastest drive on your system.
- If the fastest drive on your system is also the most heavily accessed by users, Web
servers, mail transfer agents, and so on, you will probably want to violate the previous point and put the swap partiton on the least-accessed drive on your system. Not
only does this allow more time for the drive to access the swap space instead of accessing other things, but it increases the chances that the hard disk heads will already be positioned within the swap partiton when swapping is needed. Little things like the time it takes the hard disk heads to cross the disk to where the swap partition is located really can make a difference during high loads and heavy swapping.
End of quote
I think the same principles apply to Linux. I don't think two swap partitions will speed things up. Might even slow things down. BTW I feel your pain, man. I'm working with an oldie as well.