A new Peltier-cooled solid-state Si(Li) detector has been compared to a traditional scintillation detector/diffracted-beam graphite monochromator system in conventional X-ray powder diffraction applications. Parameters studied included absolute count rates, detector linearity, peak-to-background ratios, detection limits, fluorescent radiation elimination, and peak profile shapes. Comparisons were performed on a Siemens D-500 θ-2θ diffractometer using constant sample and nondetector instrumental parameters. Advantages of the Si(Li) detector include a significantly increased count rate (3.4 - 3.8 times), primarily due to the elimination of the graphite monochromator, slightly lower background count rates, and the ability to change the analysis energy quickly. The higher count rate and slightly lower background count rate of the Si(Li) detector allow collection of data more rapidly than possible with a scintillation detector/diffracted-beam monochromator system and yield improved peak-to-background ratios and detection limits. Significant disadvantages of the Si(Li) detector include pronounced deviation from linearity at low count rates, making accurate measurement of even moderate countrate peaks difficult, and detector shutdown due to 100% deadtime between 4 and 5 × 10 4 counts/s (cps). The Si(Li) detector and the scintillation detector/diffracted-beam monochromator system are comparable in terms of fluorescence radiation elimination, resolution, and peak shape, although it appears tfiat die diffracted-beam monochromator measurably reduces the low-angle portion of the half width of all reflections.