This WEB page comes from the busTRACE 8.0 User's Manual. (Table of Contents)
Captures all state transitions
A hardware analyzer provides you the ability to capture the actual physical communications that occur on the bus; for example the handshaking that occurs between the host and target. busTRACE is unable to show you this low-level detail.
Detailed timing analysis
If you want to view detailed timing analysis, such as the time to send the command, data, messaging, etc., then only a hardware analyzer can show you this type of low-level detail. busTRACE shows you when an I/O starts and when it completes, with a timing analysis of the entire I/O sequence (not the individual state transitions).
Not affected by PC system crashes
Because busTRACE is a software tool, if the Windows PC crashes, any captured I/O activity will be lost. You can use a remote capture, or capture to file, to try and limit your exposure, but results may be limited. A hardware analyzer is not affected by system crashes.
Ability to view I/O activity from hardware perspective
In discussing busTRACE advantages , we talk about the benefits busTRACE provides because it captures and analyzes I/O activity from the operating system's perspective. There are equal benefits from viewing the I/O activity from the hardware perspective. Here, you are seeing the exact physical communication going on between the host and target. This can help you diagnose problems, particularly timing problems or hardware problems.
busTRACE supports Windows 2000 (and above) PCs. Hardware bus analyzers do not have any such restrictions and can be run independent of the OS you are using.