The minimum-detectable-limit of a compact double-focusing graphite mosaic-crystal spectrometer is compared to the minimum-detectable-limit from a high-performance Ge solidstate detector. The solid angle and efficiency of the solid-state detector is much greater than for the crystal spectrometer. However, the better signal-to-noise of the spectrometer and its insensitivity to matrix fluorescence and scattering can give it a better minimum-detectable-limit for trace element analysis. The relative advantages of the two detectors are illustrated for some simple test samples. The performance of the crystal spectrometer compared to the solid-state detector increases as the flux in the x-ray probe increases. This makes crystal spectrometers especially interesting for use with new high intensity 3rd generation synchrotron microprobes. An estimate is made of the source and sample conditions favored for each detector.