Imagine GTX480 in the summer , you have to keep the AC on full speed just so the video card doesn't burn.
Imagine GTX480 in a closed case with not so good ventilation and after 1 year of dust build up , and in the summer
Can i speculate that most GTX480's will end up RMA ?
Now about perf. , it's no denying it's faster than HD5870 but not enough to really matter , it consumes about 100-120W more , it's very very hot to the point of OMG it might ignite the case , it's loud but some people might not care about this , it has a much higher price.
To imagine how high the price is for some country's , the card leaves asus/gigabyte/xfx and it's ready to be shiped to xxx country , that country has some customs taxes for IT/Tehnology stuff , when it gets in stores another tax is applied ( VAT ) , after these taxes the reseler adds his price too , Romania's price for GTX480 is 800$ or 600 euros , HD5870 price is 480$ or 362 euros, WHO THE FUC... IS CRAZY TO PAY SO MUCH FOR SO LITTLE ?
What made Nvidia rich is not GPU computing , it's the gamers who spread the word Nvidia is great and convinced other people to buy Nvidia , so what is Nvidia doing now ? GPU computing ? accelerating encoding and some photo/video editing software ? ati does this too and it doesn't really matter much , most of us just play games , watch movies and surf the net on the computer , we are not professionals to need this
The Nvidia plan now is let's get some game developers to sign our TWIMTBP and force Physx , crank up some absurd need of tesselation to the point Ati hardware will suffer and force the developers to avoid contact with Ati for optimizations.
Until they deliver some good games that meet the above requirements i don't see anybody giving a shi.. about GTX480 , so start scheming Nvidia if you want to make a sale.