I´m starting my final paper at college, and I need to implement a real-time path tracing, but I´m still in doubt if is better to use CUDA that is more generic, or something like DirectX or Vulkan, that support hardware raytracing (I suppose it will be faster). Any recommendation to me?
I may give you a few suggestions, as I also suffered a lot about this question.
If you see your future perspective in Game Industry, then go for DirectX Ray tracing, and/or Vulkan Ray tracing API. If you already know OpenGL, and GLSL, that might give you a boost. However, starting as a beginner, both these APIs have really steep learning curves.
If your future perspective is other than the game industry, e.g., animation/ simulation etc. then OptiX may be a good choice. Also, it has been believed that if you have NVIDIA’s GPUs, using CUDA may return optimized results. However, that is not true at all. The learning curve of OptiX is easier than DXR and VKR if you already know CUDA language and parallel computing. One main challenge of OptiX that I personally feel, there is still a very very very small community and the starting materials are not enough at all. You have a very limited number of beginner-friendly documentation and only one forum to discuss with.
Best of luck. Hope this helps.