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This paper analyzes the complexity-performance trade-off of three heuristic approaches applied to synchronous multicarrier multiuser detection (MUD) of single/multiple transmit antennas and multiple receive antennas code division multiple access (S/MIMO MC-CDMA) systems. Weighting particle swarm optimization (WOPSO) and unitary Hamming distance search-based strategies, specifically 1-opt local search (1-LS) and simulation annealing (SA) multiuser detection algorithms, were analyzed in details using a single-objective antenna-diversity-aided optimization approach. Monte-Carlo simulations show that, after convergence, the performances reached by the three heuristic MUD (HEUR-MUD) S/MIMO MC-CDMA algorithms are identical, with computational complexities remarkably smaller than the optimum multiuser detector (OMUD). However, the computational complexities could differ substantially depending on the operation system conditions. The complexities of the HEUR-MUDs were carefully analyzed in order to demonstrate that 1-LS scheme provides the best trade-off between implementation complexity aspects and bit error rate (BER) performance when applied to multiuser detection of S/MIMO MC-CDMA systems with low order modulation.