Yes, its recommended to create a swap partition.
For best performance, make a swap partition rather than a swap file.
You could make it on the HDD as it will be used very rarely.
Size-4GB is the maximum thats recommended.
The Swap partition can be useful also when you are booting from a live DVD, which will automatically detect your Swap partition.
To create the swap partition-
Launch Gparted partition editor.
From devices, choose your hard disk.
shrink an existing partition by 4gb.
In the space thats created right click, new,(options) size- 4096 mb, type- linux swap, label- Swap
Then click on accept.
After this Swap partion is created you can right click on it and select SwapOn.
This will activate the swap partition.
To automatically activate (mount) the swap partition at startup, you will have to follow the following steps-
In a terminal, type
This would list all your partitions and their UUIDs.
From here you need to copy the UUID of your newly created swap partition.
Then in the terminal type-
sudo gedit /etc/fstab
Inside this file there will be a list of partitions.
Now you need to make entry for your swap partition.
UUID=a73fa26b-e12b-41d5-925f-58851419359a swap swap sw 0 0
In the same way create the entry as I have created, but remeber to replace my Swap partition UUID with the one that you got using the sudo blkid command.
Here is a link about Swap partiton from the Ubuntu Web Wiki
If you are having any problems please let me know.