What is the difference between hardware and software breakpoints?

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What is the difference between hardware and software breakpoints?

Are hardware breakpoints are said to be faster than software breakpoints, if yes then how, and also then why would we need the software breakpoints at all?


This article provides a good discussion of pros and cons: http://www.nynaeve.net/?p=80

To answer your question directly software breakpoints are more flexible because hardware breakpoints are limited in some functionality and highly architecture-dependant. One example given in the article is that x86 hardware has a limit of 4 hardware breakpoints.

Hardware breakpoints are faster because they have dedicated registers and less overhead than software breakpoints.