Ethan Holloway wrote:My question is, would it make any difference if I used DBAN or some program like that before installing Linux?
Only to the time you spend wiping the disk. The drive will not be sped up by wiping it. The difference is that a full format starts at the blunt end of the drive and works it way to the pointy end, formatting every sector as it goes. This is a waste of time so now most formatting routines just put a special list at the start of the drive, and few flags in between.
So, the stuff you've been told is all wrong, and there is no advantage in wiping the drive, unless perhaps you have stuff on there that you're ashamed of and don't want the your local police constabulary to find.