The stars have aligned and I have some extra cash at the same time my local Apple Store actually has Mac Pros in stock, so I think the time has come to purchase one of these beasties. My indecision lies around which one to get.
Given that I'm mostly editing fairly straightforward 1080p video projects, I'm wondering if people are finding the base quad-core model to be enough? Here in Australia there's a $1,300 price difference between the Quad and Hex-core base models and there's plenty of other things I can do with that money if people are finding the extra processing power isn't needed.
Most of the FCPX on Mac Pro related reviews I've found online seem to relate the the hex-core model and most of those seem to be done by people who hadn't actually used it for any sort of real-world project.
I'm leaning towards the Quad-core and using the extra cash towards a 4k monitor but my wife is pushing for me to get the hex-core so I'm more future-proofed... So any and all thoughts on which model might make more sense would be greatly appreciated...
8-core does seem to be the sweet spot in many benchmark tests. It is what I'm using, and it is a very swift computer. I agree with your wife. Future proof the core of your workflow first. Buy the fancy peripherals later as you work and save up. There is no 4K delivery yet, and won't be for some time. I shoot and edit 4K, but I don't feel any pressing need for a 4K monitor, as I edit in 1080 or 720, my delivery formats. But that 4K media gives me amazingly better image quality than shooting native in 1080 or 720.
I'd equate it to fitness. Run, swim, whatever sport you do, the first and most important part of your body to develop is your core. Once the core is strong, you can specialize on other muscle groups. But those outer muscle groups all rely on a strong core before they'll improve much (if at all).
Like wise, that 8-core will handle larger file sizes better than the quad or 6 core. And if a quad or 6 core is less powerful, then that fancy 4K monitor is not going to help your productivity at all. The core of the system determines overall performance and power, not the monitor.
Most of my work is either 720p for the web or SD for broadcast (Australian broadcasters haven't really embraced HD) so even a high spec iMac would do the job but I'd really like to have those extra thunderbolt ports.
My budget doesn't stretch beyond the six core model but it looks like that's the probably the way to go.