52x CD-R writing was very common. Lite-On IT, Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics... and most other big CD-R writing drive manufacturers supported the speed, but higher, some insane, speeds existed. For some years, 52x was the most common simply because the three companies with the largest market share had to say 52x instead of 48x or 32x as long as the OEM cost of each CD writer unit remained around US$10 - almost no difference between a 48x writer and a 52x writer. However, the original 1x CD writing was meant for CD for music, the Compact Disc Recordable format licensed by Philips and Sony, rather than for PC data backup. It had to be very conservative - writing about 150 kilobytes of audio tracks or data per second at about 300 RPM. Some CD writers had to spin at over 10,000 RPM to write at 52x speed and LG was somewhat better at maintaining their drives more silent at the maximum writing speeds.
It was much different with Blu-ray.
12x Blu-ray writing is already about ten times as fast as 48x CD writing.