Yes, laptops with either brand of GPU (or integrated even) have heat and power consumption to deal with when running 3d games. ati-drivers aren't so great (nvidia either) at automatically moderating GPU speed. Think of it as "CPU speed step" in 2003, where CPU's at that time had very coarse, and few options for lowering speed when not needed.
You may wish to try aticonfig (located in /opt/bin -- part of the amdcccle package), while these are intended for overdrive, you can adjust them for lower frequencies of course, which as long as the framerate is ok for you, will reduce the heat, so if you find that you get good framerates at say 50% of max GPU speed, then set the number accordingly (these will reset to default upon reboot each time), the main idea is that you hopefully lower heat a bit, but still get enough performance that your game looks good of course:
I've used the following to both slow and speed up my own desktop setup (2 x 7850 cards in crossover mode) and the commands work as advertised. Mainly I slow things down for less noise, but II also did successfully overclock just for fun once or twice
You'll need to adjust your numbers according to what your GPU reports as it's normal speeds and capabilities.
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Get Clocks of GPU0 : /opt/bin/aticonfig --adapter=0 --od-getclocks
Set new Clocks for GPU0 : /opt/bin/aticonfig --adapter=0 --od-setclocks=770,1126
Note that on the "setclocks" command, the first number is GPU speed, the second is memory speed,
Here is another/different authors notes from bitcoin mining forum which still apply nicely:
To check the temperature, retrieve the current core/memory clocks and get the current fanspeed:
aticonfig --pplib-cmd "get fanspeed 0"
To set the core and memory clocks
aticonfig --odsc 1000,1200
will set the core to 1000Mhz and memory to 1200Mhz.
To set the fanspeed
aticonfig --pplib-cmd "set fanspeed 0 100"
will set the fan to max speed.
aticonfig --pplib-cmd "set fanspeed 0 auto"
will put it back to temperature controlled.
Hope this helps (and I hope it works for you!)
Final suggestion, do use compressed or bottled clean air to get dust out of the laptop, as they always collect no matter how clean the air might seem
p.s. with dual graphics (cpu-integrated and your external ati GPU) look around for "PowerXpress" as that may let you choose which graphics core works for you. Archlinux seems to have info on that topic in their wiki. I don't have that hardware setup or I would try and be more helpful there