A high-performance, lightweight, low-cryogen compact 3.0T MRI system for imaging the brain has been developed. This system has a gradient performance of 80 mT/m and 700 T/m/s, and has a magnet weight of less than 2,000 kg and has a 5 Gauss fringe field area of 24 m2. This novel system has produced images that are equivalent if not better than that encountered in whole-body 3.0T scanners. This was demonstrated in imaging tests in healthy volunteers. Clinical evaluation is scheduled for a patient population.