My PC is a little dated, and it doesn't perform as well as it should. My rules of thumb for getting the good quality Skype conference include:
- Exit all unnecessary applications.
- Keep the Task Manager running so it's easy to identify and kill run-away processes.
- Set the Power Scheme to High System Performance.
- Disable Carbonite (that's an affiliate link).
- Connect a truly excellent microphone, like the one that comes built into a cheap webcam.
- Connect a powered external speaker so everyone on the local part of the team can hear the remote people.
- Invite people to the conference!
All in all, Skype is a great tool for holding conference calls with people in other countries. Still, though, sometimes I feel like my phone is too big.