In a new post to his site Amit Merchant covers the difference between two functions in Laravel's Eloquent functionality that do similar things: load() versus with() for eager loading.
Today, while working with one of my projects(which is built on top Laravel) I bumped into the situation where I needed to get associated model’s data for one of the models. So here, I had two approaches in Laravel to accomplish this which are basically called Eager Loading: with() [and] load().
Both accomplish the same end results - eager loading a related model onto the first. In fact, they both run exactly the same two queries. The key difference is that with() eager loads the related model up front, immediately after the initial query (all(), first(), or find(x), for example); when using load(), you run the initial query first, and then eager load the relation at some later point.
He then goes through examples of each and the queries they produce on the backend. He shows how splitting up the queries might be a better option for some cases and finishes with the benefits of using each (use cases).