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I would recomend buyng a second hand Dual Nand RGH mod xbox 360 console.
with this mod you can switch between the nands so nad 1 is the retail nand and you can use the console exactly as it would be used on a retail console, the second nand has the RGH mod conected and you can run un-signed code on it which means coverting installed games into games on demand and playing them without the disc :D very efficient and if you get a Jasper xbox phat console or a slim console with this mod they are pretty much imune to the RROD ( Red Ring Of Death ) so you can game for hours without problems and also the RGH mod alows you to change the cooler fan speed and tells you the temperature your console CPU and GPU is at. This would be my personal recomendation as i have this and is amazing, saves you so much money and you can have the best of both worlds.
BTW, just click the Consoles link in the left nav bar if you go to Amazon. For some reason the link takes you to a longer list, but you can skip right to the console list for XBox 360 by using the sidebar link. Sorry, I thought I had linked directly to the list of XBox 360s.
A refurb didn’t pass initial in-store inspection or was a non-functional trade in and was sent out to be repaired. A used system tested ok in the store, so they just put it in a box and sell it to you without sending it out. I have had 3 "preowned" systems from Gamestop; 2 were used, 1 was a refurb. 1 used was great, one had to be returned. The refurb was cleanest and is still working great. My sample size is obviously too small to be statistically meaningful, but I would probably go with a refurb given the option. On the other hand, there probably was something wrong with the refurb at some point, so you have to hope Gamestop is competent at system repairs. They appear to have a pretty serious facility, so the odds are pretty good that they have the resources to do a decent refurb.