To assess the clinical relevance of T-2 relaxation times, measured by 3D triple-echo steady-state (3D-TESS), in knee articular cartilage compared to conventional multi-echo spin-echo T-2-mapping. Thirteen volunteers and ten patients with focal cartilage lesions were included in this prospective study. All subjects underwent 3-Tesla MRI consisting of a multi-echo multi-slice spin-echo sequence (CPMG) as a reference method for T-2 mapping, and 3D TESS with the same geometry settings, but variable acquisition times: standard (TESSs 4:35min) and quick (TESSq 2:05min). T-2 values were compared in six different regions in the femoral and tibial cartilage using a Wilcoxon signed ranks test and the Pearson correlation coefficient (r). The local ethics committee approved this study, and all participants gave written informed consent. The mean quantitative T-2 values measured by CPMG (mean: 46 +/- 9ms) in volunteers were significantly higher compared to those measured with TESS (mean: 31 +/- 5ms) in all regions. Both methods performed similarly in patients, but CPMG provided a slightly higher difference between lesions and native cartilage (CPMG: 90ms -> 61ms [31%],p=0.0125;TESS 32ms -> 24ms [24%],p=0.0839). 3D-TESS provides results similar to those of a conventional multi-echo spin-echo sequence with many benefits, such as shortening of total acquisition time and insensitivity to B-1 and B-0 changes. aEuro cent 3D-TESS T (2) mapping provides clinically comparable results to CPMG in shorter scan-time. aEuro cent Clinical and investigational studies may benefit from high temporal resolution of 3D-TESS. aEuro cent 3D-TESS T (2) values are able to differentiate between healthy and damaged cartilage.