In days of Yore there were things like the Shuttle-X tiny PC’s that could muster fair bit of CPU in a SFF box.
I have been using a Zotac with an Intel Atom dual core as a desktop for a couple of years, maxed at 4Gb of memory and chugging along with Ubuntu desktop.
Boringly reliable, drives a nice big screen over HDMI but is now lagging behind somewhat.
My biggest gripe is it cannot run a live view from my CCTV cameras without flailing the CPU to death.
The next wave of Zotac hardware is on the comedy side of a bag-o-sand so I’m looking for something else that will drive two screens, support at least 16Gb memory and a reasonable turn of speed for CPU stuff whilst being small and festooned with I/O for USB, hdmi, Display port adaptors and maybe two gigabit ports.