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Studies of the optimal multiplier (or optimal step size) modification to the standard Newton-Raphson (NR) load flow have mainly focused on highly stressed and unsolvable systems. This paper extends these previous studies by comparing performance of the NR load flow with and without optimal multipliers for a variety of unstressed, stressed, and unsolvable systems. Also, the impact of coordinate system choice in representing the voltage phasor at each bus is considered. In total, four solution methods are compared: the NR algorithm with and without optimal multipliers using polar and rectangular coordinates. This comparison is carried out by combining analysis of the optimal multiplier technique with empirical results for two-bus, 118-bus, and 10 274-bus test cases. These results indicate that the polar NR load flow with optimal multipliers is the best method of solution for both solvable and unsolvable cases.