This may be due to the way the two distros setup the sound drivers for your system. I remember that when I ran Red Hat 9, it detected my sound card fine, but there were many other things that I didn't like about Red Hat. Anyway, after much research and working with different distros, I found that knowing how to work with ALSA to be of more value and was able to get sound working on my laptop.
I don't know anything about Suse or Ubuntu, but I assume both come with the latest version of ALSA, in which case you can go to the console, su to root, and run alsaconf. This should detect your sound card and install the proper drivers. Make sure you know the exact make/model of your card before you start. After you have run alsaconf, use your favorite mixer to make sure nothing is muted, and that you have the levels set the way you want.
You should be fixed after this!
Good luck and let me know how it goes!