I've found alsa works best with my intel audio. I've noticed that my default installs generally have the sound muted, or disabled.
For Gnome, try right-clicking the sound icon in the system tray and selecting "Open Volume Control"
Select your audio device from the drop-down list (mine is "HDA Intel (ALSA Mixer)")
Click the "Preferences" button, and select all the options. Close the pop-up
Unmute your outputs and whatever inputs you want to use.
You sound should work now. If it doesn't:
Open the sound tool from the system menu (system>preferences>hardware>sound) and change your outputs to the outputs you are using, and use the "test" button to see if it works. it can be loud, so don't put headphones on to test it