Massive GPU usage tanking causing low framerate

I'll preface this by saying this ONLY appears to happen when playing Dark Souls III.

AMD FX-8350 GPU
16GB DDR3 RAM
GTX 980 Ti

Not sure about my mobo. I know some of the basics about computers but I'm no wizard.

So what I've noticed is, every couple of minutes, my framerate will drop from a stable 50-60 to literally 10 for about 30 seconds. When this happens, CPU usage halves and GPU usage goes from 25% to 3% (not sure if it's supposedto be as low as 25 to begin with, frankly), and temperature sits nicely at 65c.

Weird thing is, it was perfectly fine for the first couple months of me having the 980 (upgraded from Radeon R70x). Then it just sorta stopped being consistent.

Any suggestions? If I have to disable or change anything to do with hardware, please be specific and thorough. As I say, I'm sort of new to PC technicalities so I'm not at all sure what to do.

Thank you for any advice!
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More about massive gpu usage tanking causing low framerate
  1. I would use msi afterburner and check cpu. It's likely bottlenecking your card in one of the cores.
  2. ak47jar3d said:
    I would use msi afterburner and check cpu. It's likely bottlenecking your card in one of the cores.


    I had a look, and this is what I found. Blue line indicates when the game was launched, red line when the framerate plummeted.

    http://i.imgur.com/vqv6QkT.png

    I think it's a temperature issue, given how it reaches close to 80 and then throttles itself to save it from overheating. That's how it works, right? My cooler's the stock one that came with the PC when I first got it. I try to keep the insides clean, but I think that's not enough at this point. Would it be worth getting a better cooler? I've got my eye on a decent water cooling system but I'm reluctant to switch because I dunno how safe they are.
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