Here we go again.
ExtremeTech tested for any "on rails" optimizations, which apparently aren't present in the new drivers. However, no image quality tests were done, so NVIDIA might be achieving such a dramatic performance increase by throttling image quality. Adding intrigue to the matter is the fact that the new 44.67 drivers appear to produce slightly lower scores in other benchmark applications.
For a supposedly irrelevant benchmark, 3DMark03 is certainly getting a lot of attention from NVIDIA's driver engineers.