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The release of Snow Leopard came nearly two years after the introduction of Mac OS X Leopard, the second longest time span between successive Mac OS X releases (the time span between Tiger and Leopard was the longest).
Unlike those of previous versions of Mac OS X, the goals of Snow Leopard were improved performance, greater efficiency and the reduction of its overall memory footprint.
As a result of the low price, initial sales of Snow Leopard were significantly higher than that of its predecessors.
New programming frameworks, such as Open CL, were created, allowing software developers to use graphics cards in their applications.
This is also the first Mac OS release since System 7.1.1 that does not support Macs using Power PC processors, as Apple now intends to focus on its current line of Intel-based products.
Addition of new end-user features was not a primary consideration: its name signified its goal to be a refinement of the previous OS X version, Leopard.
Much of the software in Mac OS X was extensively rewritten for this release in order to take advantage fully of modern Macintosh hardware.Snow Leopard is available as an upgrade for Intel-based Macintosh computers.