I have a Thinkpad T430, the version with Core i7 2.9 GHz which, according to this specs page, should have an nVidia hybrid GPU from the factory. I'm using Ubuntu Mate 16.04.3 LTS. I have (according to Ubuntu) 2x 4GB 1600 MHz DDR3 RAM modules, total 8 GB RAM, and a 320 GB 7200 rpm platter hard disk, with 100+ GB free in my /home, and 20+ GB free in /.
However, after a recent incident where attempting to use bumblebee and nVidia Prime (switching from Prime to bumblebee when Prime didn't seem to work) led to loss of keyboard and mouse response at login screen, I ended up reinstalling Ubuntu as the fastest way to restore function (now working fine, fully restored).
After reinstalling Ubuntu, I tried installing nVidia drivers and bumblebee again (from the graphics-drivers ppa, which gives a much more current version than the standard Ubuntu repos), and noted that while both driver and bumblebee installed, bumblebee complained during installation that no discrete graphics card was detected. I didn't see anything similar with the nVidia drivers, but to be honest, I wasn't really looking yet when I ran that install.
At that point, to avoid starting over on my reinstallation by recreating the previous failure, I removed the bumblebee packages and the nVidia drivers. The machine is running fine on the Intel graphics, but there's reason to believe that the heavy RAM usage by the integrated graphics is causing a performance issue with a favorite game (Kerbal Space Program), because of the way the graphics uses system RAM.
A pretty prolonged search found no answers to similar questions newer than 2015, and the newer of those were founded on the assumption that the hardware was known to be present, or that
lspci would report it as a "3D Controller" -- which does not occur on my system.
For instance, this doesn't show any video hardware except the Intel:
sudo lshw -C video [sudo] password for [user]: *-display description: VGA compatible controller product: 3rd Gen Core processor Graphics Controller vendor: Intel Corporation physical id: 2 bus info: pci@0000:00:02.0 version: 09 width: 64 bits clock: 33MHz capabilities: msi pm vga_controller bus_master cap_list rom configuration: driver=i915 latency=0 resources: irq:27 memory:f0000000-f03fffff memory:e0000000-efffffff ioport:5000(size=64) memory:c0000-dffff
Now for the real question: is there a reliable way, without either nvidia-prime or bumblebee, bumblebee-nvidia, and primus installed and working, to determine for certain that my machine does or does not have the nVidia GPU that Lenovo seems to say was present in T430 systems with this CPU? I don't see any way or reason the GPU might have been removed during the refurb (and have the computer still operate -- it'd be soldered, rather than socketed, right?), but I haven't been able to get any software test I've tried to admit it's present. There is an empty space under the RAM cover; it appears to be a mini-PCIe for an optional cellular broadband modem that was offered for this model. I found a maintenance manual online, it shows where the GPU would be mounted if present, and it's not accessible without disassembly (top of the logic board, under the upper right of the keyboard). It doesn't, however, specify which exact models have the GPU. The exact model number is available in BIOS or via
lshw (don't have it with me, I'm at work now).