Thinkpad T430: After noticing unreasonably high cpu temperatures at low load, I decided
After noticing unreasonably high cpu temperatures at low load, I decided to clean the heat-sink of my T430 (these are mid-cleaning pictures) and noticed that my laptop had an nvidia gpu, in addition to a cpu.
I didn't know this particular model had a gpu --- I thought it was the lower end version with the cpu handling the graphics, until I decided to clean and reapply thermal paste. While I was at it, also replaced the speakers, since the old pair was busted.
Turns out there was a bios display setting I had to tweak, as well as drivers I had to download. But now that the gpu is working, skyrim is now playable at high quality settings.
So mission accomplished: lower temperatures, working speakers, and as a bonus, getting a working nvidia gpu.