I have a Thinkpad W530 running Ubuntu 14.04; I've tried connecting external monitors via both VGA and DisplayPort, but neither are being detected.
I turned off Optimus, and am only using the discrete graphics card (an NVIDIA Quadro K1000M). I'm using the "recommended proprietary driver" (according to System Tools -> Preferences -> Additional Drivers): NVIDIA binary driver - version 331.38 from nvidia-331 (proprietary, tested). I've also tried the nvidia-current package, which I think is version 304, but it's not working either.
lshw -C video gives
*-display UNCLAIMED description: VGA compatible controller product: GK107GLM [Quadro K1000M] vendor: NVIDIA Corporation physical id: 0 bus info: pci@0000:01:00.0 version: a1 width: 64 bits clock: 33MHz capabilities: pm msi pciexpress vga_controller bus_master cap_list configuration: latency=0 resources: memory:f2000000-f2ffffff memory:e0000000-efffffff memory:f0000000-f1ffffff ioport:5000(size=128) memory:f3080000-f30fffff
The "UNCLAIMED" thing is weird, since the laptop display is working fine (and with the correct resolution and all).
Strangely, nvidia-settings gives me a window that looks significantly different from what is claimed at the Ubuntu help page, which shows detected X screens on the left:
Instead, I see which seems a lot less helpful.