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The focus of this paper is to derive the symbol error probability (SEP) of a Rake receiver with a limited number of fingers that track the strongest multipath components in a frequency-selective Rayleigh fading channel. We develop an analytical framework that allows the computation of the SEP for nonuniform power dispersion profiles (PDPs) and spreading bandwidth. By transforming the physical Rake receiver with correlated ordered paths into the domain of a 'virtual Rake" receiver with conditionally independent virtual paths, analytical expressions for the SEP are derived in terms of the spreading bandwidth, the channel profile, and the number of combined paths. We show how our analytical results can be used to predict the performance of various Rake architectures in environments with nonuniform PDPs using for example, the channel models defined for the next generation wireless standards. Furthermore, we validate our methodology by comparison to data obtained from channel measurements, showing good agreement with our analytically derived results.