Ok, if ur trying to save money, you can look into soft modding your xbox. Or buying a cheap chip for about 30 bucks. Depends on how daring you are. If your completly new and want an easy to use chip that's very beginner friendly then you should look into the Xenium Ice.
Another thing that a beginner wouldn't know is that there are many versions of xboxes. Xboxes 1.0 - 1.5 can all have mod chips installed with no soldering. New xboxes are version 1.6 or 1.6b which do require solder. (and yes i know about spider but does spider chip deal with extra current through bus?) Spider is a solderless chip for 1.6's but recently a problem with 1.6's has been found that most modchips don't account for. More current than should is flowing through one wire causing a much shorter life for your xbox. Xenium chips claim to not have this problem.
I'd say all chips, and softmods will let you play roms, back up games, and run any bios or dashboard. Again though, with 1.6 xboxes, you are limited to the bios' which are compatible with 1.6's which is pretty much only m8 (which is a good stable bios and is not a problem with what you are trying to do with it)
Hope this helps.