The alsa module snd-intel-hda was constantly eating up about 30% of my cpu.
Google pointed me in direction of blaming pulseaudio:
But pulseaudio.org gave me a hint about snd-intel-hda being buggy.
I’m using OpenSuse 11.1 and came over this:
which help you upgrade your alsa base and driver packages to 1.0.21 and problem solved !