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I remember CD writers get's twice the speed, now it seems DVD writers can only do up to 24x write speed if internal, and just 8x if it's a portable writer. It's been years since and it seems stuck on this speed. Is this really the fastest it can go?

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Only? 24x is only? –  terdon Mar 30 '13 at 16:45
    
@terdon relative to CD writers which are 52X –  IMB Mar 30 '13 at 16:55
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closed as not constructive by Xavierjazz, Karan, random Mar 30 '13 at 18:14

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CD and DVD read/write speeds are not equivalent. For example 1x CD ~= 153KB/s while 1xDVD ~= 1.39MB/s. 24x DVD means moving data at 33.36MB/s. Burning at the highest speed is typically achievable only at the outer edges of the medium and there are many other factors that can affect actual transfer speeds including the speed of the source medium (hard disk), quality of the dvd drive and quality of the medium itself. Better write performance is already available using 8x or better blu-ray writers.

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Because you don't want the disk blowing up on you. The outer edge of the disk is moving at a substantial fraction of the speed of sound. You can't compare CD and DVD write speeds, the data densities are different.

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