I'd suggest that you keep things as simple as possible. You may have a Windows recovery partition created by the manufacturer, you'll have a Windows ntfs partition, and you will need a partition for an ext4 partition for Ubuntu. A swap partition a couple times as big as your main memory isn't a bad idea.
The more partitions you have the more likely one will be too small and you will have to resize later, needing to do the work of backing everything up before you do--that's why I suggest you only have the minimum number needed and use the large disk size to be rather generous with their sizes.
One commom approach is to add another directory for /home so that you can do a fresh install of a new Ubuntu version after release without having to move your data.
Don't create four primary partitions--four primary partitions don't allow you to add any logical partitions and there can only be four primary partitons. If you want four partitions make the fourth a logical partition in an extended partition. It's a big pain to convert a primary partition to an logical partition.
Bigger disks give you more flexibility. Other than that the particular hard drive you have probably doesn't matter much in terms of partitioning (exceptions would include RAID arrays or other special storage used in large servers).
Many years ago files were placed near each other manually and one cared about cylinder sizes, etc. That's not current practice. The firmware in the hard drive hides the actual disk geometry from the rest of the system, writes these days are simply to the sector number n. The firmware will even move data around as sectors go bad.
As I recall the EXT file systems will try to co-locate the files in a particular directory in the same cluster, to try to reduce disk arm movement. With current disk technology there's quite a bit of data per actual cylinder. Also with current memory sizes modern kernels do aggressive data caching to reduce subsequent I/O to nearby data in open files, removing motivation for worrying about file placement.