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You actually should be able to have multiple swap partitions if you really want. More physical RAM would benefit performance more, but spreading swap over multiple physical drives should give you at least a small performance benefit. If you set up the drives with LVM, you should be able to play around with different setups (size of partition, location if you get more drives) for swap.

RAID - From what I've heard, it's too much of a pain for the average user. You could achieve a similar result with LVM (Linux Volume Management). I haven't personally used it since the machine with my large hard drives is running FreeBSD (I think there's something separate for FreeBSD, but I didn't have the time to look into it). With LVM, you should be able to change the size of partitions somewhat at will (ex. add multiple hard drives to a single partition). I'm not sure, but I remember something about being able to reorganize partitions when needed.

Separate partitions for /usr and /usr/lib - I don't really see a reason for it, but you could consider putting /usr/home on a separate partition. That would give you a good separation between the operating system's files and your personal files. Linux will also want a /boot partition (which I think is required when using LVM).

The partitions on my FreeBSD machine are:
swap
/
/usr
/tmp
/var

/tmp and /var on separate partitions is nice in case a temp or log file fills up one of the partitions. My FreeBSD partition setup is one I've seen people use for Linux with the exception of Linux would have the /boot partition.

Someone with more experience in partitions and filesystems might have a different setup, but this one has worked great for me so far.


EDIT: Are you interested in using one of the drives for storage/backup? If so, I'd probably reserve the Western Digital as the storage and/or backup since it has a smaller cache.
 
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