That's actually a very good question Low Rider.
The snapshot is a read-only, point-in-time database. As such, the queries run against it do not create locks nor do they honor locks. There can be no dirty reads since the data doesn't change so there's no need to lock anything. This means greater concurrency. More queries can read the data at the same time without being blocked by writes.
However, the read of the data still hits the source database's data files, so it still has an impact on the source database. This is why a majority of people (in my experience) use database snapshots for a read-only reporting database on the mirror database in a mirroring partnership. This moves the IO completely off of the live database and server.
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Database Engineer at BlueMountain Capital Management