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An optimum power loading algorithm for transmitter diversity systems over correlated and unbalanced Nakagami (1960) paths and its performance evaluation under perfect channel estimate conditions are derived. In addition, various online estimators of the required Nakagami channel parameters for optimized power loading and the comparison of their mean square error via Monte Carlo simulations are presented. Some of these estimators are used to obtain the performance of optimized transmitter diversity systems under imperfect channel estimation (ICE). These numerical results show that the diversity gain of these optimized systems compared with equipower systems increases as the severity of fading decreases and as the degree of branch imbalance increases even under ICE. On the other hand, in weakly correlated and (or) unbalanced branches, optimized transmitter diversity systems offer negligible gain or even losses compared with unoptimized systems because of the ICE.