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In general, yes separation between drives helps. These days I find that much of what is do is not bound by disk performance though, and I have gone to a model where I have a small disk with boot, system, and swap. Then I have a NFS server with a /home and /common area.
If you have older, smaller drives, you might consider having boot and swap on one drive. Then you could, for example, have the system drive be a USB stick if you were playing with different distributions, etc.
You might also want to have a partition large enough for you to periodically snap a mirror of your /etc and /home areas.
What type of hardware, and disk drives are you planning on using...that would impact how one might lay things out?
it is useful to have data which are at once written/read on different disks. I have two disks in my server, when I move data from one disk to another that's faster than moving data from one partition to another on the same disk.
If you have a system with few of RAM and therefore the Swapspace is often used, your system would profit if you put the swapspace on another disk than your /usr or /home directory.
Fix the problem, not the symptom.
So what is your swap rate - say in pages per second/minute/hour ?.
Actually there is no problem. My system is working well as it is with all main directories on different partitions of 1 disk. I was just wondering if performance would be better with splitting it across disks. I cant help but try to improve on something even if its miniscule.