Should I partition my HDD?



What I mean by that is....I need to get a new HDD and I was going to get Windows 7 as well.
Should I create a partition specifically for the OS and another one for everything else?
I don't know much about this stuff.

I was going to get a 500GB WD caviar black. I have another 320GB drive as well.

I do some gaming, mostly starcraft 2 and some steam games.

Like everyone else I have loads of music and video.

Will my system run any better with the OS on a separate partition? Does anyone recommend installing all programs on a separate partition from the OS? including games? Would that make reformatting easier?

I need use of the storage space of the new drive but I also want everything to run better and I would like reformatting to be a little easier than it is now for me.
A lot of people partition their hard drives for performance - the outermost (first) tracks hold more data so for a given amount of data (1MB, for example) you get faster transfers to or from the computer. This means the first partition on the drive performs a little better than the following ones, with the last one performing the poorest.

But the difference is pretty small and you probably won't notice it unless you use a stopwatch.

The bigger reason to put the OS in it's own partition, IMHO, is so that you can do an image backup of it without having to include all your other files. Regular file backups can't be used to restore your OS and all it's programs if your disk fails - you need an image backup for that. But an image backup makes a copy of everything in the partition. If you keep the OS partition relatively small then your image backups will be more manageable.

The rest of the disk can be used for a second partition that holds all your data, and for that one you can use file backups which (after the first one) only need to make copies of the files that have changed.

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