i had the same problem
i had the same problem but now it is solved.
I suppose that you have installed the binary rpm for suse 8.1. There is a help file: /usr/share/doc/packages/NVIDIA_nforce/ReleaseNotes.html
it contains some information regarding the proper installation and configuration. However note that this rpm installs the driver but it doesnt load it.
As root you need to do the following: check the etc/modules.conf file.
_ If there is line for loading the i810_audio driver, comment that line with # infront.
Then type "modprobe nvaudio" to load the driver.
Now you should have audio.
To load the driver during boot you should add that instruction to the file /etc/init.d/boot.local
ATHLON 64+ 3500
2X 512mb DDR400 KINGSTON