In case anyone else has the same problem.

A crash was observed in PerfomanceTest V9 when the MSI Afterburner software was installed.
The crash occurred when PerformanceTest was launched.
Afterburner Version tested was Video card was a GTX 980

MSI Afterburner is an overclocking utility, which has a screen overlay function to report system information over the top of your 3D game.

This is the crash dump stack trace (which identifies which code was running at the time of the crash).

00000000`0014e4d8 : d3d9!DebugSetMute+0x250aa <== Code running when it crashed
00000000`0014e500 : ntdll!RtlFreeHeap+0x846
00000000`0014e5b0 : msvcrt!free+0x1c
00000000`0014e5e0 : d3dx9_43!D3DXCreateSprite+0x2a7
00000000`0014e610 : d3dx9_43!D3DXDebugMute+0x2e9
00000000`0014e640 : PerformanceTest64+0x1192af

d3d9 is the DirectX V9 software, supplied by the video card vendor and Microsoft.
DebugSetMute is one of the many functions in the DirectX software.

We are speculating that either,
Afterburner is hooking into the DirectX code, and Afterburner has a bug in it, causing the crash
Afterburner overclocked the PC too hard, resulting in system instability.

MSI also has the "Nahimic" software, which is also does an on screen overlay and is also known to be buggy. There are also a dozens of other reports on the Internet of Afterburner crashing various different games (Witcher 3, BF4, GTA5, etc..). So I would assume Afterburner is also buggy.

Either way, uninstalling Afterburner fixes the problem.